It never bodes well when you go up to the next floor and an aroma somewhere between popcorn and Trix comes wafting from the break room and descends upon your very soul. It is times like these when you know that making a hasty retreat is a moral imperative, regardless of your reason for venturing beyond your own veal pen.

Friday, and paid time-off, rapidly approaches. I’m taking Friday and Monday off to attempt some rest and relaxation of sorts, although I will be spending some of that time with extended family in Seattle so who knows what brands of hell might break loose while that’s going on. It’s always a good time visiting them, though, so I do look forward to it. I’m hoping my cousin Adam will bust out some of his increasingly-famous lewd dance maneuvers. That always livens the party up some, much to the chagrin of his mother.

I finally got a drywall contractor to come in and give me a bid on my bathroom job, which I promptly accepted since he was the only one I could actually get to show up, albeit 45 minutes late. Now I just need the job started.

I also took my car because the “check engine” light came on a couple days ago and got that back with no significant issues. They had to do some sort of reprogramming with the onboard computer… something to do with the idle timing. Whatever. It fell under warranty and, as always, the service was excellent, so I’m not sweating it.

Thus, I am regaining composure, slowly yet surely closing on issues, and looking forward to a long weekend. (I had to take some vacation soon anyway because I was rapidly approaching the “use-it-or-lose-it” point. Regardless of the reason, vacation is vacation, which is to say, “not being at work,” so it must be a Good Thing. Right?)

Saw this posted over at Slashdot and figured it was interesting enough to comment on: The musical preferences of IT-related personnel.

I am a Microsoft-certified professional developer and database administrator. According to the survey, then, I should be listening to mainstream pop music, heavy metal, and indie rock. Hmmm. While I do listen to some mainstream pop, I’m not a big heavy metal fan. I dig the indie rock, but if I had to choose, I’d say I’m more a techno/electronica listener than anything else, which, according to the survey, makes me a Linux user.

I guess that just goes to show that I don’t quite fit the stereotype.

I also find it odd that they didn’t list “Mac user” as one of the categories. Maybe they don’t consider Macintosh users as IT-related people. Interesting.

I have finally been deemed popular enough to receive stupid blog comment spam. I’ve gotten probably five or six in the last week. I turned up the amount of time required between comment posts, so at least I don’t get totally hammered, but other than that, I’m hosed unless someone’s got a pMachine Free plugin that uses captcha images… or I enable registration for commenting, which wouldn’t be too bad, seeing as how no legitimate readers ever comment on stuff around here anyway. Heh.

We beer-battered some shrimp last night (I’m not really a beer drinker, so it’s good to find something to do with the leftover beer from our housewarming party), and it was pretty tasty.

I got to thinking it might be a faster/better idea if we just had a huge vat of oil for the frying, then battered all the shrimp and just dumped them in at the same time. Jenn said that would make them all stick together and come out in a big ball. Then it hit me: shrimp cones.

Get all the beer-battered shrimp to come out in a huge shrimp ball. Then make cones out of hush-puppy and throw the ball on top. Voila! Shrimp cones. Top with cocktail sauce and serve.

media, movies comments edit

Checked out I, Robot on Sunday afternoon, and it made for a pleasant time.

I, Robot is the new sci-fi action movie starring Will Smith, destined to be one of those summertime blockbusters that everyone ends up buying when the DVD comes out. Maybe.

See, it’s loosely based on the Isaac Asimov book of the same name. I thought I had read this a long time ago, but I apparently either don’t remember it or it wasn’t the same story. Either way, here’s the deal:

Will Smith is a technophobe living in a world where robots do everything. Everyone has a personal robot assistant, and these robots are the most helpful thing ever. On the eve of the largest robot release ever, the doctor who invented most of this technology gets thrown from a window and dies. But who did it?

Over the course of the movie, Smith (and Bridget Moynahan, who plays another robot-creating doctor) investigate the case and uncover a sinister plot to take over the world.

Now, you probably watched the previews. You probably saw the same thing I did - Will Smith kicking ass on a bunch of robots. You probably saw a lot of gunplay and fighting and car chases and all the things that make a light, fun action film.

Both you and I watched previews for a movie that really doesn’t exist.

See, I, Robot plays a lot more to the philosophic side of things. Can robots evolve? Can they feel emotions? Are they sentient beings, capable of free will? All of these things get looked at over the course of the murder investigation. Interesting? Sure. Reflective? Maybe. Is this the movie I came to see? No.

If I had wanted to see a Will Smith remake of Blade Runner, that’d be one thing. I saw the previews, though, and I expected some serious action. I wanted smart one-liners and things getting blown up. I wanted car chases and acrobatics. I wanted a special effects extravaganza with a nuclear climax. What I got was a sci-fi murder mystery with a side of philosophy.

That’s not to say this is a bad movie - far from it. I enjoyed the film. I don’t feel like I lost out on my $6. That said, it’s not the movie I went in to see. I expected one thing and got something else. I feel a slight bit disappointed, like the victim of a bait-and-switch scheme. Again, not that I got a lesser product, I just got a different product. It wasn’t what I expected.

If it’s not an action movie, don’t pimp it like it’s an action movie. Throw some more of the murder investigation in the previews. Give me something that makes me realize there’s more than just action here. I realize the action fills the seats, but you’ll get more positive word of mouth if you accurately represent the product. (Don’t even get me started on those movies with previews that show scenes that aren’t in the film.)

I, Robot is good. Go see it. It’s worth a matinee price in the theater, or at the very least a rental. I might have to think about it for the full price… I’d consider it, but it might end up a coin toss. Definitely worth checking out, just don’t go in looking for an all-out action film.