Again with the phones

Not Palm this time though…

To me, one of the most irritating innovations in recent times has been the blue tooth headset.  I have lost count of the number of times I have thought someone was talking to me only to discover that concealed on the other side of their head wrapped around one ear was their phone.  It is funny, however, when the person in question is an animated talker, you know, one of those people who talk with their hands.  Using a traditional phone at least one hand was occupied holding the phone and the other hand often calmed down, but with both hands free some people get quite into their conversations.

One of the disadvantages of the blue tooth headset was that you still had to have the phone, in your pocket or on your belt or in your bag or something.  Well, LG has solved that by making a phone that is a watch.

I don’t think I would want one.  I’m not so good with watches, they get horribly beat up on my wrist.  In fact, I have to replace my watches fairly regularly because the glass/plastic gets scuffed to the point that you can’t read the time.  But even though I wouldn’t carry one that doesn’t mean I can’t still think it is cool.

And So It Begins…

Today is November… and that means it is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, a mad dash to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Two years ago was the first time I’d heard of the WriMo.  I planned to participate, and I even wrote a couple of days, but it was fairly pathetic.  Last year I was hyped… then I got sick and was down for the count for nearly two weeks (missed a fair bit of work too).

This year, I am ready.  I got my idea all in line over the past month and did a little outlining and plotting, just to make sure the idea wasn’t going to stall on me.  Today I wrote… 1,430 words.  Best NaNoWriMo start I have ever had.

I’m looking forward to see how the rest of the month turns out…

As long as I remember to update it, you’ll be able to keep track of my progress over in the sidebar, or on the official NaNoWriMo site on my profile.

The WriMo Wrap Up

You might have noticed that during the entire month of November I did not post, not once, about the NaNoWriMo. Let me tell you why…

I got sick.

Yeah, its a lame excuse, but the wife and I both caught the creeping crud somehow and it put us both down for the count. To be honest, we should have gone to the doctor as bad off as we were, but without insurance those office visits add up. Even if we’d had insurance, what I can afford to buy on my own ends up having such a high deductible and covers so little, its really like not having insurance. Instead we stayed at home and doped up on the OTC medications.

Ultimately, NyQuil with the alcohol in it did the trick. But after nearly two weeks of headaches and congestion, coughing and aching, I just wasn’t in the mood to write.

I tried, a few false starts, but since I started the month sick I never settled on an idea, a place or character or situation, and I wound up doing what I always do, write half-assed outlines. I’ve got about six more of them now, all with plot twists or cool characters and not a single one even remotely close to being a full fledged story. All in all, I probably wrote 20,000 words in November, but spread out over a half dozen stories… well, it just sucks.

Next year, I’ll try not to get sick. In the meantime though, I’ve got a few other things going to help get the juices flowing, and with the Writer’s Guild still striking, I soon won’t have much TV to distract me.

Of course, there is always Rock Band…

Kill Bill Vol. 2 & The Punisher

It was a weekend of revenge at the movies.

First up, Kill Bill Vol. 2. Volume 1 was a spectacle of kung-fu and splatter style gore. Arms and heads removed with ten foot arcs of blood. The body count was high. The story was interesting, uncomplicated, and above all else, action packed.

In Volume 2, the death count drops, in fact, unless I’m mistaken, only 4 people die in it. This volume spends more time focusing on the back story of Black Mamba (Uma Thurman), and how she became the woman she was. As I overheard someone say, "Quentin saved all the talking for this one." And they were right… the story here is thicker, sometimes slow, but still cool enough to keep me watching the screen and not my watch.

The two movies really are an excellent pair, and one day when they make the special collector’s edition DVD with an hour or so of extra footage, it will find its way into my collection for sure.

In another tale of revenge, The Punisher brings to the screen the Marvel Comics character of the same name. And while they changed many of the details of his original (Vietnam Vet just doesn’t fly as easily anymore if you want to set the story in current day), the changes made didn’t detract from the character. Frank Castle is a man whose family is killed by criminals, and he decides that with the life he still has he will stop as many of them as he can.

Its not revenge, its punishment.

While I did find some of the earlier scenes of the movie, mainly those setting up for the death of Frank’s family, to be "laying it on a bit thick," once the action started, it was mezmerizing. The fight scenes, both hand to hand and gun battles, were well done, with the right touch of violence without being overly vicious (some on screen stab wounds were paticularly unsettling, but most finishing shots on wounded victims were done off screen).

As long as Marvel keeps putting out quality films like this for its properties, they can continue to count on my hard earned movie dollar.