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That's All, Folks. [14 May 2007|08:23pm]
Alright kids, this is probably it for the ol' Joylog. I may keep the account open for a while until I get everyone bookmarked (though I haven't read anyone's LJ in over a year) but I'll probably close it down sooner than later.

I have a rename token it my account. Are they transferable? If so, anyone want it?

I've started up a new weblog at blogger/blogspot. Once again Google provides a better service for free than ones others are charging for. And it's not (for the moment) blocked from work. I'll release that address when I start using it.

Smell ya later!
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Like the Pagan kings of old [24 Mar 2007|10:15pm]
[ mood | lethargic ]

Well, I'm pretty much done with LJ. I might set up a new 'blog built in to joybus, but who knows. I might do two or three seperate ones (general stuff, tech stuff, etc) or use one with categories. Probably use or one of those more customizable deals. Could use a php package and run it on joybus itself, but you know that's when my host will go belly-up and all will be lost.

I found ljArchive, which allowed me to pull down all my entries and their comments, but it doesn't grab avatars or, more importantly, the IP addresses of the anonymous comments (the only way I could often tell who the commenter was, if it was someone I knew.) Anyone know of anything better?

I could just leave this LJ up and abandoned. Eh.

4 comments|post comment

On the road again [19 May 2006|08:21pm]
[ mood | exanimate ]

Too tired for the full scoop now, but I'm writing from the Dayton, OH *International* Airport hotel. Passed through Richmond, IN last night and stayed in Joyvan at the KOA Kampground there. It was a successful if not sufficiently lengthy sleeping experience. People are nice out this way, as long as you give them time to do their jobs. No one is in a hurry anywhere.

Dayton is fine. The 'fest was somewhat disappointing. Ebay has killed the swapmeet market for most things. Still, the van is nearly full thanks to a couple large items bought for a bargain. A few small items, too, but I've seen more interesting things (on average, and the unique items I did purchase excepted) at the local 'fests. The day started out dark, windy and threatening, but eventually turned both cool and sunny, and I managed to get a decent sunburn that I am nursing now. SPF45 sunblock has been purchased for tomorrow and Sunday. Going to try to spend less time there tomorrow and, if time and energy allow, check out a tour at Wright-Patterson AFB. w00t, planes and stuff!

Considering I woke up in a van 40miles from here at 5:30am and have been in motion ever since, I'm doing OK. That feels like days ago. I'd really like to lay down, but Wilbur's Lounge, the hotel dive, has karaoke in 30min. This could be a worthwhile spectacle. If I lay down I'll probably be out for the night. And no, I won't be singing. I'm not sure the Sisters ever put out any Karaoke discs.

Sunday will be give-away day, so I may sleep a bit later and hit the 'fest at 10am or so and start trolling for the stuff people don't want to take home. But so far, I haven't seen much stuff I'd even take for free.

More updates when I can. More travel in the days to come...

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Memories of 1994 [18 Apr 2006|11:40am]
This helped pass many hours back in the day:

It taxed my Amiga 500 back then. Now it runs in a browser window with a dozen other tasks in the background.
2 comments|post comment

Tell them about the discount, Harry! [22 Jan 2006|11:15pm]
[ mood | okay ]

So alright, it's a new year and stuff. Faithful Joylog fans deserve something more than dead cat stories. Around the first of the year I told myself I'd pay a little more attention to this neglected spot, but I won't make any promises. But tonight, I'll throw out some stuff and see what sticks.

I was up early today - before 6am, which for me is quite a feat. Work? Nah. Exercise? Unlikely. Did I just turn 80? Not quite there yet. No, it was a hamfest, of course. That link isn't quite accurate, at least not as far as why I go to them. Some Joylog fans may know I am a collector of vintage computing equipment (aka old "useless" crap,) among other things, and hamfests are a prime place to find the deals. So I more-or-less sprang out of bed before sunrise and hit the road for St. Charles, IL. The roads were clear, the sky nowhere to be seen behind the fog and blowing snow, and the snowy scenery just lovely. Before I knew it (and after a stop for gas-station blueberry muffins) I was standing among the mostly-crusty-old-guy crowd, ready to look over some junk. The gates open, one quick pass is made - no lingering, the gem of the show might be bought in the next few seconds. What follows after is an aimless wandering, a wondering over what was missed, what table was bypassed, what $2000 mega-radios or rusty, dusty pile of old PC boards and cracked LCD screens obscures that perfect representative of 1979 computing whose owner's only desire is that it doesn't come back home. The thrill of the hunt is addictive, with most of the usual ugly after-effects. Today, of course, was no different - except no great finds this time. Not that I'd ever contemplate going home empty-handed, of course. And thus, at the end of the visit (an unprecedented early departure around 9:30!) in a hip Digital-logoed duffel bag whose heft can still be felt in my sore neck, I had:

- TI 59 Programmable calculator with two modules and a bunch of magnetic program strips. No battery pack but appears to work with AC adaptor. $5 (a steal!)
- Apple Graphics Tablet - What a big, fat logo! This ain't no Mac peripheral. Sadly, no card or pen :( $5
- Randombrand 2m candlepower rechargable spotlight. It's no HID megalight, but it works, has the charging cables (120v and 12v) and a removeable lead-acid battery. And it was $2!
- Some car alarm thing from the 70s, new in box. I'll do something with it, really. $2
- Some books:
- "How to Get the Most Out of CompuServe." I'm pretty sure I had this in the mid-80s when I had my first "online" account (yes, when I was about 11.) Oh yeah....dialing up with the Vic-20, paying (ok, mom paying) $6 an hour for 300 baud access to...what? 50 cents.
- Some old Omni Magazine guide to online databases. Gonna curl up by the fire with this one sometime soon :yawn: 50 cents.
- A book from this guy, who is a good deal more hardcore than either of us. $5

So yeah - not much to report there, although I've apparently done so anyway. What else is there? I stayed up after the 'fest, went to a Mexican place for lunch, raced home and managed to ward off the nap demon until 5pm or so, when I went down *hard*. Up around 8pm in a paralytic haze, radios left on and phones ringing. And now that post-nap funk. Is it energy or another desperate attempt to salvage the day? Dinner never happened, so it was dressed again and out for some Taco Bell or Subway or something. But this time it was the grocery store, and soon I had a cart full of frozen dinners, yogurt and ice cream. Oh yes, and a sign that screamed "YES, I do live alone, why do you ask?" I just finished a Stouffer's chicken and mashed potato dinner. And I'm still hungry.

Ed was just signing out in the hall, so I answered him. His pitch raised and into the room he strode, strutting proudly with his toy mouse in his mouth. His whiskerballs puff out around his kill and he does his best to look manly despite that pink collar I put on him. Every time he does this (which is almost nightly) he walks the same straight path to a point about three feet behind me, looks me in the eye, drops the mouse and falls to the ground to roll around next to it in triumph. Naturally, a belly-rub isn't far off at that point. I'm powerless against tactics like these.

Bah, I'm getting tired. But this might be all you get for the next few months, so I'll see what else I've got. I saw "Underworld 2" yesterday. Oy. The first Underworld was no Blade, but this sequel did similar damage to its series. I've been even worse than usual about movies lately. I never have the patience/attention-span to watch them alone, and no one has the time for seeing them in the theatre these days. Last one I saw was Muinch, which was quite good, keeping in mind it's mostly fiction. The politics aside, Spielberg managed to recreate the inadvertantly stylish, plodding tension of those 70's spy movies like "Three Days of the Condor." Same haircuts, too.

Alright, it's after midnight, I ought to be in bed but my body doesn't know when to sleep any more. My hands feel swollen. No idea what that's about. I hurt my neck a few nights ago rearranging the ironically-named JoyBedroom, and it's stiffening up again. I think I'll turn to Google Video for the next hour or two (I'm only halfway through all their Top Gear clips) and then I might be ready to sleep again. Work again. Sleep again. Etc.

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Farewell, Sweet 'Belle [17 Oct 2005|11:25pm]
I came home tonight after a weekend away and, not a minute in the door, my oldest cat, Shelley, let out the strangest yell I've heard from her. She is known for her bizarre vocalizations, but this one was new, more desperate for attenion than usual. I found her across the room in her little cat bed I had found earlier this summer in the neighbor's trash down the street. I had taken the bed in, washed it thoroughly and put it out for whoever would find comfort in it. It was tried on by some cats, ignored by others, but Shelley found her home there, leaving a thick layer of black and grey fur over the last few months to prove it. Tonight she was nestled into the bed lower than usual, and still. I knelt down near her in the dark. Her bad breath made me keep my distance but I reached out to her and felt her thin frame and matted fur. She yelped again, breathing heavily and wheezing as she somestimes did. I shone my pocket light on her and saw her chin encrusted with dried drool and her eyes runny and glistening. She barely moved.

I should have known this was coming, yet just last week, despite having lost a little weight, she was pracing around in her senior-cat way as she had been for the last few years. I got up to put my bags away and started looking up late-night vet offices. I found the number for the one where I had taken my last two ailing felines in 1998 and 2002. I called them to prepare the way to take her in, stuffed down a single slice of leftover pizza, stuffed Shelley (gently) into the same carrier that has at one point transported each cat I've owned and headed out. She howled weakly for a while then went silent. I poked my fingers through the carrier holes as I've done for every cat I've had to move this way. Sometimes it helps calm them, sometimes it makes them more aware of what's outside and agitates them further. My fingers met her forehead, one of the few non-matted spots left on her, and she reflexively butted against it. She was still facing the back of the carrier, as she was when I had put her in. It seemed she couldn't turn herself around. Perhaps it was better for her to see the back wall rather than the strange lights and motion of the car. We arrived at the animal hospital about fifteen minutes later.

I won't describe the scenes that followed - those with pets know the waiting, the diagnosis, the listening to explanations of medical conditions while formerly blank eyes suddenly gain a quite human despondency as they read the knowledge of their last moments from your face. I've known it three times now, and if it has become any easier, the comfort that brings is only driven away by the guilt one feels that this should ever become "easier."

She was at least sixteen years old, maybe more. She came in as a stray and we never knew where she'd been or for how long. We were already a tiny house full of cats. We didn't need any more, for sure, but we knew she needed us at that moment. Her life must have been hard, wherever she had been, but she always seemed to long to return to it. She was the only cat I had that every tried to leave when the doors were open. Shortly after I began living alone she had gone missing for days. I walked up and down my street, searching yards blocks away, only to find her in a yard across the street. She was starving and seemed terrified even of me. I coaxed her close with wet food and eventually caught her. She yelled at me as I carried her and continued to yell as she ate her food on the apartment floor, alternating her strange cries between gulps of that noxious wet mush.

She was an odd cat with an odd voice. She drooled whenever she purred, and she was always purring. Like anyone denied a proper youth, she always craved attention. She perched on the edge of sofas and would stare down anyone who came near, reaching her paw out as far as balance would allow, just wanting to be touched. She never socialized much with the other cats. She didn't fight with them either, nor was she picked on even by the aggressive ones. In her younger years she would climb on to anyone who rested near her and begin the claws-out love-massage that most cats are known for, adding her purr and all that it brought. In recent times she surprised me by being the most aggressive attacker of the red laser dot. Her claws, which she had long ago given up on sharpening and now grew thick like eagle's talons, curving back into her paw pads, clicked on the wood floors. I always knew when she was approaching.

I'd like to think I gave her a good life, certainly a better one than she would have had on her own. But the life was leaving her faster than she could catch it - not that she didn't try. She loved like only a crazy cat could love, and as a crazy cat she was hard to love at times, but I gave her all I could. I did my best for her...

Shelley, aka Shells, aka Belle, and many other names. Goodnight, sweet Belle.
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Taking stock, etc [25 Aug 2005|01:37pm]
[ mood | discontent ]

So I'm turning over another year. I've sequestered myself at one of my many Undisclosed Locations in hopes of inducing some sort of productivity and focus. In moments I will deploy in search of a pair or two of pants that fit my widening gut.

If that's not a sign of the last drops of youth diluting into the big torrent of sedentary adulthood, I dunno what is.

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Well that didn't take long [18 Apr 2005|09:31pm]
[ mood | Shiftless (and shirtless) ]

Mark this night - it is (already) officially too damn hot in my house. I suspect poor ventilation, too many computers and too many cats. OK, the last two are theoretically possible, but I have not experienced them.

As of right now, Battlefield 1942 rocks my socks to Russia, if not actually all the way back around the globe to her place. Yeah, I know it's old, but I just got it.

5 comments|post comment

[22 Dec 2004|01:20am]
[ mood | moody ]

I was going to rent a movie tonight. That's an extremely rare event for me, but something I should do more often. I'm also considering subscribing to NetFlix so I can have a steady stream of all the movies I've never seen delivered to my door. I was going to watch one tonight, but what kind of video store doesn't have Strange Brew? So I sat around online and that's where I still am now.

I finished my Jesus-mas shipping tonight. I don't feel I bought enough for certain deserving people. Perhaps it can be made up in some other way. Now I can get on with other tasks. Always a list. Always a scoreboard with the other guy winning.

The only winning move in not to play.

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Turn and face the strain [08 Dec 2004|05:54pm]
I've been drinking only Diet Coke since Sunday. I've made up my mind: things are gonna change so fast.

Oh yes, things are gonna change.
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Thought you might need to know this: [24 Nov 2004|11:25pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

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Word is bond [27 Sep 2004|12:20am]
[ mood | nostalgic ]

Long ago, when both I and my dreams were young, my longest-lasting friend and I knew we were both on the cusp of adventure and greatness. It was an inevitable future, a fait accompli akin to that held by sons of kings and daughters of revolution. He stood by me then as we inspired each other to think the as yet unthought and secretly plan the most daring feats of intellect and episitemological bravado yet attempted by the likes of Man. We knew that just as each of us risked outshining the other and collapsing into dense, sluggish gravistars of mediocrity, also could one balance the other, ensuring that neither orbit would decay and that Lord Entropy's cold grasp would have to wait yet one more year.

It was some time in that distant past, in a covenience store's candy aisle, that my friend's heart and mind aligned and in a moment of meaningful clarity he pledged to me that he would always seek to ward me away from loose women and Circus Peanuts.

Why, dear friend, in this list of temptations that in your wisdom you knew I could not resist alone, did you not also include Kandy Korn?

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Filler [05 Aug 2004|12:30am]
It's been pointed out that I haven't updated here in a while. I'd like to say it's because I've been really busy working on something awesome, but it just ain't so. I just haven't had anything to say lately. I did just get back from DefCon, and it was pretty OK, I guess. Once again the desert called, I answered, had my fill, and I'm happy to see green things again (but not eat them.) Until next time, at least.

Let me say also that JFC, New Order was a great band. Even one or two songs on Republic were decent. Barney had to do some serious wading in the silly pool when he was writing lyrics, but somehow he always pulled it off when singing them. He wasn't even a good singer - he just had one of "those" voices.

And let's not forget Peter Hook's basslines, and the contributions of the Other Two. And that frog sample in The Perfect Kiss. And the image of Ian (PBUH) in that song's video. And the song "Age of Consent." So long ago...such simple stuff...that cheap guitar sound...that beautifully artifical synth..and just perfect as it is. Is no one thusly inspired any more? Perhaps I am, but we all know where that will lead...

Holy crap, I don't even own Brotherhood on CD. This must be corrected.

"Well I always thought we'd get along like a house on fire"
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takin' it easy for once [25 May 2004|07:02pm]
[ mood | content ]

It's just lovely outside. I'm sitting in my sloped and slanted back "yard" in one of those folding sports chairs. I never go out here. I just discovered that my sliding screen door isn't entirely broken. Mina isn't happy that she can't go out here with me, and she's letting me know about it, and now so is Edward. I've got the Vaio on my lap and the coals in the little mini-Weber I found in my garage are just about white. I scraped the hell out of the grill part - I hope that little bit of rust isn't bad for me. It smells like tasty chow and reliable old times. I've never grilled on my own before. Last time I tended any coals had to be when I still lived with the parents. I've got a big CostCo steakburger patty ready to go over the fire and I'm munching a CostCo cheese mini-pizza to hold me over. I've got a Cherry Coke half down and I'm sipping CostCo Amaretto liqueur from a ~25ml Pyrex beaker and it gives me a little bit of (playfully) smug geek-satisfaction to do so. I do believe it is possible - not necessarily likely or even probable, but at least minimally possible - that life could be worse than this.

The glow is right - the time to act is now...

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The universality of love [18 May 2004|12:08am]
It's been an emotional evening. I shouldn't be complaining, I guess, they're hard to come by. But tonight it was just...*everything.* I lost a friend tonight. She had been with me for just the last few months. She was dependable, charming (despite the faults that came naturally with her age) and gave and gave and gave without asking much at all - just a little attention and the occasional encouraging word. All my friends liked her, and she was glad to have them along when we went out. She's someone else's now, and I know she will be as loyal to him as she was to me. Sure, I've had a new girl since last week, and she has her charms as well and is probably here for the long haul, but there's no doubt my short-lived friend will be missed. I watched her drive away, just like that, down my street and around the corner and that was that. I have photos, I have memories, I have an oil spot on the garage floor. I also have $800, which does ease the pain a bit. Goodbye, Bunny, and thank you...

Oh yes, I said it was "everything," didn't I? It was all that, and it was the chill in the humid air, and the wind and lightning through the trees covering the northern roads I drove, and the music I hadn't heard in years (that would be the Cure's "Wish" and Mazzy Star's "Among My Swan" for those keeping score at home.) Yeah, it was all that, and maybe some more. Maybe a dash of memory of what may as well have been another person's life. Maybe another shutter-flash moment where I catch a glimpse of what remains when you take away the 1% of life in which I've lived. Maybe I just need a hobby. Maybe I'll become a smoker - they always seem like such productive people, always with somewhere to be and a real desire to be there. It's all about purpose, after all.
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Ten long years [03 Apr 2004|11:55am]
And so it was that ten years ago today, on the morning of that crazy Jesus holiday that comes after they have all those Friday Night Fish Frys, we awoke to a stirring in the cardboard box nest on the floor next to the bed. Young Lucy, who had walked in to our home a few months previous and started growing just a little too rapidly was purring proudly over two wet, wriggling blind balls of fur and teeth, licking them furiously, stopping only to shift the weight of the next two still inside her. I still remember her cry that woke me: a simple, urgent "Babies!" These first two were called Suki and Schnell, the biggest and fastest of the lot. I'm not sure how many hours passed before Elke and Edward were delivered - it seemed like all day. Ed was the runt and seemed like he might have some trouble making it in the world, but he is still going strong, chewing cables, obsessively licking any flesh that gets near him, and chirping like a little girl. His brother, although he seemed the bigger, stronger, more robust of the two, died in late 1998, shortly after I moved in to the house I live in now. He had a great meow and a sweet temperment, just like his siblings and mother, but he must have been too big for his heart, and it gave out on him. So, poor Ed had to finish growing up as the "man" of the house, a task he never took to well.

Lucy died is early '02. She had done her best as mother and pet, but her background on the mean streets of Elgin must have caught up with her. Her three "babies" remain and appear healthy and happy, living here along with the two fluffy black cats Mina and Shelley, who are slightly (? in Shelley's case) older. Since Kiri has moved to a more peaceful home, fights are at a minimum and there is frequent inter-cat licking and wrestling. There is still fur everywhere, the litter boxes always need cleaning, my cables are chewed. But I've got up to five bed warmers working for me, and they really don't ask for much.

So it makes us look back on ten years...the memories and the lessons learned. I could write pages more about the heartache, the loss, the wasted time, the missed opportunities, the mistakes I made (so many) and that were made against me, but why? Those things are ever present, for they *are* me. I am the living proof, the result, of those tragedies and failures. What really is the point of dredging them up in detail again and again? Past is past, and all that. It's not denial, I know I can't escape any of it. But we've got our stories to tell, now, and that's where it all belongs. And I've got a movie to get to and I'm not even dressed yet. I don't know if "Hellboy" will warrant a review when I return any more than the last ten years of my life will, but hey, if you're *really* interested...

Argh, today also marks the first ant in my house this year. Here comes Spring.
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Big Bad City [08 Feb 2004|10:28pm]
As a comfortable and willing suburbanite, I sometimes have to deal with pretentious, unjustifiably elitist hipsters who look down on people whose lives aren't centered around their social scenes and how near they live to some tired bar. In the worst of cases, it is implied that one is afraid to live in the city - preferring the safety of the outlying areas. Well, those people are idiots, but that's not the topic of today's lesson.

The true purpose it to tell you all that yes, it is a scary city, sometimes. Like today when we were sitting on some road in the South loop, heading north, of course next to a lot of high buildings. There was a large airport van in front of us. We're just sitting idle, then suddenly _something_ comes rocketing into the street, impacts about 10 yards in front of us, missing the van by no more than two feet, and explodes with a violent splash of water. I said "holy shit, that was a pumpkin!" until I realized how dumb that was in the middle of Feburary. I think it was something like a detergent bottle, full of water. It hit the ground *hard.* It totally would have dented the van (which I presume was the target) and probably killed anyone in my car after tearing through the vinyl roof.

Now I certainly enjoy tossing stuff off of high places, and I would have loved to see what it would have done to the van, but...damn. That's not cool. That was probably at least a gallon of water (8.33 US pounds.) You do the math.
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Got some shit done [01 Feb 2004|11:40pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

It's been a busy week, automotively. The Big Blue Truck is spent just under a year here with me, and now it's gone back home to CarMax (the Best Buy of car shopping. Well, if Best Buy bought your old TVs and stuff.) Its temporary stand-in is purring along nicely after getting a new battery thanks to the past week's groin-grabbing cold, and is now equipped with at least some of the components of a proper sound system (local toughs: please don't steal my stereo - thanks.) I washed her, my only car, tonight, and she sure is pretty. As the kids these days might say, I <3 my Cabbie!

(and it <3s me)

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Careless inhumanity [14 Jan 2004|12:53pm]
[ mood | uncomfortable ]

I feel I must make a statement for you gentlemen out there: When taking the mayor of Tinkletown to the public square so he can deliver a speech, there is no need to help him out of his Caddy when he's still two feet away from the podium, no matter how urgent his message.

Thank you.

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Not bad news for a new year [04 Jan 2004|02:01am]
I guess I need a "new year's" post, eh? Yeah, whatever. Well for starters let me mention that our lame-ass species has managed to do something of importance to start this one off. Here's a nice up-to-the-minute log of the events. Now that we've got a capable robot roving around the surface of Mars, we should expect to find evidence of Jesus there, too, thus catalyzing the birth of a new cult even goofier than the Mormons.

Like any 'holiday,' New Year's Eve doesn't mean too much to me. But 2003's wasn't too bad. Movies, games, food and drink, all in good company and no drama, no BS, no dealing with the crowds or the traffic or the hell that is other people. Just a good time like any other night - because that's all it is, anyway, no? Why try to make it anything else? Celebrations are great when there is something worthy of inspiring one. No one should be making excuses for anything else.

I go back to work on Monday. Only a small fraction of my "to do" list has been accomplished. I should feel badly about this, and in some sense I do, because wasted time is really my worst enemy these days. But I've gotten so good at forgetting the things that trouble me that I even forget to feel troubled about the forgetting. That does make an odd form of sense, at least in my own head.

I've seen two fairly decent movies since the winter break began. Tonight's was "The Station Agent" which, along with featuring one of my Three Keys to Fine Cinema(tm), was funny here and there, had trains and people who appreciate them, and required a trip to an old-but-with-character theatre for viewing.

On New Year's Day we went to see "Big Fish." I'm a bit wary of Tim Burton's films, although I was forced to review his recent efforts and found I liked most of them. I think a lot of that wariness had to do with "Nightmare Before Christmas," and that blasted Danny Elfman music. I was prepared not to like BF, but despite myself, I really did. And that's a nice thing - to be surprised by a film and won over by it. It was a movie about storytelling, and I certainly enjoy that. It was a movie about fantasy, in more ways than one. It carried on that old movie tradition of portraying Southern characters as well-spoken, charming, gracious folks with broad literary knowledge and sly wit. Who knows, maybe that was true back in the pre-WalMart days?

While Burton probably intended a somewhat sad but ultimately uplifting ending to his story, I think I found a sadness of a different sort in it, perhaps centered around the concepts of Family and the interesting (if not always pleasant) characters they should contain. A character said that a man could be remembered for his stories, that they are his 'immortality.' Maybe I fear I will have no stories to tell at the end. Maybe I am disappointed that I was told so few worth remembering.

Upcoming movies I care about: Kill Bill (Part 2,) Spiderman 2, Alien vs. Predator. I'm sure there are others. *Please,* let's hope there are others.

I'm not the new-year's resolution type. If I have one, it's "don't have a hell-year." Sure, maybe that's a basic one that applies every time, but I certainly forgot to pursue that one last year. I'll try to keep it in mind this time 'round...
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