Monday, January 30, 2006

Health: Week 3

Well, this week has had some ups and downs.

The most frustrating thing is, considering the fact that I (and many folks I know) tend to have this on-again, off-again thing with trying to be healthy (AKA, losing weight), I figured it'd be a good idea to get together once a week and discuss it. Primarily for the encouragement and support of a group of like-minded people with the same goals. But, apparently, that's not a very popular idea, so that's a bust. On to the next Great Idea.

I have started a friendly competition with some folks at work to drink 3 liters of water a day. At least there will be some accountability there. Not all of us are overweight, but I think we all see the value of drinking water rather than coffee and soda.

Target was out of Candy Cane Lane Tea this week. Dang. I'll just have to wait until next Christmas.

I need to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables by a massive amount, so I've been drinking a glass of V8 V.Fusion every day. It purports to be equivalent to a single helping of fruit and a single helping of vegetables. Sure, it's not the same as eating an apple and a bowl of greens (I'm not that dumb), but I think it's a step in the right direction.

Current Weight: 265#
Total Change: -8#

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The haze begins to clear (around Ultraviolet)

Curiouser and curiouser...

Back in late 2002 (when Ultraviolet was still called Valkyrie), Kurt Wimmer was on the CHUD message boards and made this comment when asked about about his upcoming projects:

I have several scripts...a script called Valkyrie - a sci-fi vampire film. Kind of a female Blade only the hero is a complete vampire - pure, pure comic book.

V for Vendetta on IMAX

Thursday, a press release announced that V for Vendetta (the movie based on the Alan Moore graphic novel) would be released simultaneously on IMAX screens and conventional theaters. I wonder if I can talk my wife into a weekend trip to Nashville to visit our good friends the Crislers that weekend?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Something I Just Didn't Need to Know About

Yes, it's true. There is a devotional book based on the single most overrated (and overquoted) movie of all time. (No, not Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

Taming A Liger: Unexpected Spiritual Lessons From Napoleon Dynamite

Now I've seen everything.

Like an Urban Legend Spreading on the Internet

Yesterday, Comics Continuum reported that Sony has released 9 new images from the film, along with the one sheet.

They also stated:

The movie, based on a European comic book, stars Milla Jovovich.

It may never end...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Looking grimmer for Ultraviolet

Being a comic book movie, I mean.

But I have to say that sometimes it's the little things that increase my faith in humanity.

In trying to track down the origin of Ultraviolet, I contacted owners of 3 of the comic book movie sites I frequent: Comics2Film, Superheroes Lives, and E. Favata's Comic Book Movies, since they all listed Ultraviolet and referred to it as being based on a comic. I also contacted one of the writers for since they also made a similar reference.

I was pretty impressed that everybody got back to me the very next day.

Anyway, it was pretty interesting.

Alessandro at Supeheroes Lives referred me to Comic Book Movies and a reference to the UK (TV) mini-series Ultraviolet.

Sean at referred me to Supeheroes Lives and the picture of what appeared to be a comic there (I mentioned this in my Jan 8 post).

Rob at Comics2Film also referred me to the pic at Superheroes Lives.

Finally, Eric at Comic Book Movies sent me the Ultraviolet picture that also appears at Supeheroes Lives (that is also shown among the movie concept art as I mentioned previously). [Why am I getting this odd desire to draw a workflow diagram?]

While it may seem I'm back at square one, I think this is actually getting me closer to what is really going on: that it may have seemed like Ultraviolet was based on a comic, and it just continued to pick up speed from there...not an unusual happening on the information superhighway.

Anyway, all these sites are great sites that I refer to all the time (though is new to me, but with that notice about the Tick, I'll be back there, too), and I appreciate all these guys taking the time to get back to me. Take a look at them, especially if you're into comic book movies.

The Tick on DVD

Some of the most exciting news I've heard in a long time; I don't think I would have gotten through grad school without The Tick. reports that the animated series will likely make it's way to DVD sometime in 2006. It had an excellent 3-year run. I have fond memories of getting up every Saturday morning to watch Animaniacs, Eek! the Cat, The Tick, X-Men, and Spiderman. My wife thought I was wierd, but I think she's used to it now.

IMO, I'd have to say that The Tick is probably my favorite TV show of all time - it still cracks me up. After watching the show for a while, I picked up the original 12-issue comic book series by Ben Edlund, and it's just as inspired. Well worth a read if you get the chance. Unfortunately, I let my sister-in-law's boyfriend borrow them and haven't seen them since. Chris, if you're reading this, send me back my Tick Omnibus #1 and 2! (Dang - it may not help that I don't remember his last name.)

If you can't wait for the DVD to come out, Toon Disney is running the show fairly regularly.

Begging the T-Rex

Well, at least T-Rex agrees with me about my concerns about how the phrase "begs the question" is used. Take a look at this hilarious a few of them - they're genius!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ultraviolet: What, no comic book?

Well, as far as I can tell, the upcoming film Ultraviolet appears to not be based on a comic, contrary to a number of references to it being a comic book film. I finally found an on-line comic with almost the same title (Ultra-Violet), but but it's pretty obvious there's no relation between the two.

It appears that this all came out of Kurt Wimmer's head (he's the writer and director). When asked about where he got the story in a 2003 interview, he said,
The movie is basically (John Cassavetes') Gloria told in the future... [with a few other differences]

[Note: Along with that interview, there are a number of comic-book-looking storyboards.]

Greg Dean Schmitz over on Yahoo! references a Variety article that mentions:

Kurt Wimmer wrote the role of Ultraviolet specifically for Milla Jovovich...

I found a similar quote over at (referring to the Variety article):

Wimmer, the trade says, wrote the script with Jovovich in mind after seeing her in Resident Evil.

Apparently, the movie wasn't even originally called Ultraviolet. In a 2002 article, Fangoria reports on Wimmer's "sci-fi vampire project", quoting Wimmer:

It's called VALKYRIE, and that's the lead character's name...

None of this completely precludes that it could have been loosely based on an obscure comic, but I would have to say the lack of evidence points toward that.

I don't know where the whole "comic book" relationship came from but I guess it's possible that it had it's genesis with this (horrible) FilmJerk screenplay review that I've seen referenced in a number of places. From that review:

Dialogue, characterization and the settings are all spotty, as it plays out as something more suited to the comic book or videogame form than a major motion picture.

Besides that, all of the production art I've seen for the movie looks like it was something that was printed in a comic book. [*Note: this sentence sounds like I was saying the concept art was bad enough to be found in comic book; actually, the art is very good - I just meant to note that it had a very comic-book feel to it...]

I think I'll follow up with all the comic book movie sites and see if I can't get any more info...

Health: Week 2

The difficult thing now is to stick to it. Eating nuts instead of candy in the afternoon. Slim Fast bars instead of Pop Tarts for breakfast on the way to work. Eating more earlier in the day; less late in the day. Exercising some. Drinking more tea and less coffee.

Celestial Seasonings has this amazing peppermint green tea: Candy Cane Lane. It's seasonal, but it's the best mint green tea I've had. Adding peppermint is the best way I've found for green tea to be palatable to me; the only other types I've found are Celestial Seasonings's Decaf Mint Green Tea and Bigelow's Green Tea with Mint, but Candy Cane Lane is by far the best of the three.

Current Weight: 268#
Total Change: -5#

Holy Rubber Carpet Protectors, Batman!

I have to share my cool new Batman floormats. Krista gave them to me for Christmas. They were bought on-line and I just got them this week. eBay - the gift that keeps on giving.

On the subject of eBay - I bought a book from eBay for Krista called The Mom Inventor's Handbook. Krista is extremely smart, and she's always coming up with great ideas, so I thought she'd enjoy it. Anyway, I saw it at Barnes & Noble; cover price was $16.95 (you can save 10% in their on-line store, so it's only $15.25, but that doesn't include shipping). I had the bright idea to get it on eBay for much cheaper - and lo and behold, I was able to pick it up for $6.89 + $4.99 shipping. Not too bad, I thought: $11.88. I was hoping to get it for a little less, but saving 5 bucks off the cover price wasn't bad. Until I got my invoice. I, of course, forgot to read the fine print.

Shipping Insurance Required: $1.79.

Seller charges sales tax in multiple states. (AL rate of 4%: $.48 - don't worry, sales tax isn't that cheap here when you include city and county, our sales tax in Florence is 8.5%.)

Sales tax on eBay? Good grief. Next time, I'll be sure not to be in such a hurry.

Suddenly my $5 savings drops to not much more than $2 when you bump my total cost to $14.15. I was annoyed by it all, but it was my fault for not reading all the shipping information.
The real kicker was, when I received it (a few days after Christmas, of course - but then I only paid for it on the 17th, and was just hoping I'd get it by then), it had a return address of WalMart. WalMart?? I just bought this from WalMart?

Interesting scam. Well not really a scam, but it seems like it. You don't even have to have any inventory. Just sell something on eBay that you can get your return on if you purchase it at the same time and have it shipped from another store. I checked to see the cost if I would have bought this directly from WalMart: Book: $10.84, Shipping: $2.47, Sales Tax .$48.

Total: $13.79.

Well, unless they got some other Walmart discounts, they didn't break even since they would have had to pay all the ever-increasing eBay fees. Hmmm...they still have one in their store, but that one has a $7.89 price on it. I wonder if they do have a retailer discount...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Silver Certificate

I was given a silver certificate as change when I bought a bottle of Coke at the Atlanta airport last week when I went to St. Louis. It's 1957 silver certificate in relatively poor shape, but I thought it was a pretty cool find nonetheless.

The Week in Review

Come home...go to bed...get up...go to work...come home...go to bed...

I need to figure out a better schedule.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Health: Week 1

It's been a long time since I talked about taking on a healthier lifestyle. Nearly a year, actually. I think I'm ready now and I've finally come to a place where I've decided to give this health thing to God. I've been talking to my brother, Joe - we're going to be accountable to each other. We're going to pray. We're starting with a 24-hour fast this weekend - Sunday night to Monday night, where we'll be drinking only water. While fasting is a spiritual discipline, and when being used that way probably shouldn't be a weight loss method, we're going to use it as a chance to pray about it and let God know that we're turning this thing over to Him. We're even getting together a group of folks at church interested in doing the same thing. For what it's worth, I'm going to post my progress here. Maybe it'll give someone the motivation they need.

I don't intend to use any gimmicky diet plan. Just the common sense stuff: eat less food, eat less fat, eat less sugar. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Exercise. Eat less in the evening, more earlier in the day. And why's this going to work with so much failure in the past? Because this time I realize I can't do it. This time I'm not only going to be accountable to other people, but be accountable to God. When I rely on myself, I'll always fail. I have enough faith that this is the key that I plan to post my progress here. In front of God and everybody, so to speak.

I think this is important, from a spiritual perspective. To paraphrase Lauren F. Winner (in her article on sleep), God is helping me to understand health as part of faithfulness. I've been thinking a lot about the ways that my health is holding me back. I think it will make a difference.

I'm not really sure how this will go, but I'll keep you posted.

Week 1:
Current Weight: 273#
Total change: 0#

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Movies for $1

Well, actually for $1.50, but who's counting? The horrible old Hickory Hills theater (which was $6.25 a year ago until they put the new theater in) shows discounted movies, now. I went with my wife to see Aeon Flux last night, and I think we were both pleasantly surprised. I don't guess we went in with any expectations, but it was just a good sci fi action film. It was a bit dark, which shouldn't surprise me. Back when it was a "first-run" theater, I saw Hulk there, and couldn't see most of the night shots (though considering the quality of the movie, that probably didn't matter), and probably missed 90% of Aliens Versus Predator since it took place mostly underground. Anyway, even though the night shots were difficult to see and we spent about 15 minutes watching the top 1/4 of the screen appearing at the bottom, it ended up being pretty good. I know the critics have been knocking it (it currently has a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes), but even Krista, who shies away from science fiction in a major way, enjoyed it. Not that it would win any awards in our book, but it's the kind of film that can keep your attention, doesn't get overly complicated, and just delivers a good solid 80 minutes of entertainment. Would we have had the same opinion if we had paid full price? Who knows, but we both still thought it was better than the popular opinion.

[To compare, Gigli has a 6% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. We'd probably go along with that - it's just about the worst movie we've ever seen, but Aeon Flux isn't even in the same universe, in my opinion.]

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Crazy Canadian Mathematicians

Well, with the help of a few of my friends from Canada (thanks, Neil and Iain), I think I figured out what that Canadian math problem was about (actually, the math problem isn't Canadian, but you know what I mean). Apparently, it has something to with Canadian laws governing gambling and lotteries. If they add a question testing your math skills, they can bypass all the gambling laws. One interesting thing to note is that they don't even use proper math order. The math problem in question, then (5 + 4 x 2 - 8 = ?) wouldn't even be properly computed as 5 (doing the 4 x 2 first), but going from left to right would equal 10.

Another inteesting thing to note is that I continually spell the word weird incorrectly. As my daughter would say, "What's that all about?"

I was hoodwinked.

Saw Hoodwinked! last night with my little daughter. I know it was dangerous to take her to a film that was rated PG without having seen it first. Maybe I put too much faith in the reviews that rate "family friendliness."

First of all they don't indicate that the movie stunk. I tend not to leave movies early regardless of their quality, so I found myself shushing my 3-year-old when 20 minutes into the movie she started saying "I wanna go!"

Most of these "family" sites were pretty close to the mark - there's not a lot that you mind your kids seeing in this film. But none of these sites pointed out the biggest offense of the movie - all the stereotypes: the Hillbilly, the German, the Austrians (and that's just a start). Then there was a scene with an informant - I don't know what that was about... It just seemed that a lot of the humor relied on stereotyping different types of people, which seems really uncreative to me.

There were a few funny moments, but overall I was unimpressed. I'm glad I only had to pay for myself (well, not including the $10 in concessions that we didn't eat).

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Is this movie based on a comic book? I'm just having a crazy time finding out anything about the source material. A number of sites have mentioned that it's based on comic, or at least imply it, but I can't seem find any hard evidence.

An Ain't It Cool News reviewer states,

Personally, i've never read the comic (didn't even know it was based on one until the intro), so I can't tell you how true to it this film is.
Comic Book Movies refers to it (twice) as Milla Jovovich's...upcoming comic book movie adaptation.

Comics2Film indicates that it is based on an obscure European comic. states that it's based on a comic.

Superheroes Lives states that it's based on the comic book: "Ultraviolet" with what is assumedly a picture of the comic (see right). This looks a little more promising, but then I came across a site for Static Line Productions - a company that does movie production art. If you go to that link, and click on the picture so artistically circled in the photo below, you'll see the same picture that is shown on the right. The "View Video" link on the upper left shows some other concept art for the film - it all has a very comic book look to it (see also these pictures: #1 #2). Apparently this is all concept art done for the movie by Mark Bristol. There's more art posted at the Equilibrium Fansite.

Finally, according to IMDB, it was written by Kurt Wimmer (who also directed the film, and was also writer and director for Equilibrium); there's no reference to anything else as the original source.

So, if you know anything about the source material for this film, please let me know!

Friday, January 06, 2006


For Christmas, I received a Dell Axim Pocket PC so that I can keep up with my writing a little better. It’s great - I can write in it when I’m out, I can record in it when I’m driving, and I can transfer the files later. It has WIFI access, so I've been testing it out at different places. The McDonald's in Killen, AL was the first place I was able to log on (even out in my car). Twice this week in Huntsville I've gone to lunch and gotten on the internet. Earlier in the week, I went to Aromas (a coffee shop in the new Target shopping center) and then today at Atlanta Bread Company, with very different experiences.

At Aromas they required a "network key" (kind of like a password - it's used to ensure that someone next door or across the street isn't accessing your network) - it was on my receipt when I bought my coffee. I logged on and everything seemed to work fine (except for the fact that I wasn't able to log in to Blogger - the "Start" button didn't seem to work on it). I little later I noticed a note on all the tables requesting donations for using WIFI (comparable to how much you used it) so that they can keep it free.

I'm not sure why this bothered me so much. Probably because I used my last $2 to buy the coffee, so I didn't have any more to give, and I felt guilty. But then, a couple of other logical issues seemed to crop up in my mind (maybe they're justifications):
  1. If they're asking for donations for use of a service, who's going to give? The more generous (or guilty-feeling) people. So in effect, the stingy folks will have a free service, and the giving folks will be paying for it. Should the stingy people be rewarded for being stingy?
  2. It doesn't compute that they seem to be asking, "Please keep this service free by paying for it."
  3. Finally, the only reason I patronized their store was because of the free WIFI. I probably would have gone to another coffee house, but the WIFI got me in the door. If that's one of their reasons for having the "free" WIFI service, then not only are they using a "free" service to get you in the store and purchase their product, but they also want you to pay for the free service that got you in their store to spend money on their products in the first place.

Then I tried Atlanta Bread Company. Apparently, not all WIFI hotspots are created equal. There, they didn't require a network key. Theoretically, you could sit down, not buy anything and just get on the internet (for the record, I got some coffee and a pumpkin muffin top). Also, I didn't see any requests for donations of any form. Unfortunately, the connection was so slow, I thought I was back on dial up so I spent most of the time writing this blog in Word. I looked around and there were only a couple of of other guys working on laptops…I wondered if they could be eating up the bandwidth, but that didn’t seem likely. I couldn't even do a Google search in under a minute.

So, do I support the small business man and throw in my dollar every now and then to assuage my guilt? (But how much is a comparable amount for how much you use? Like the Huntsville airport where it's free? I doubt it. In the Atlanta airport, it's about $10 for a day pass - how does that translate to an hour?)

If I do support the local businessman, is it because I'm doing the right thing or just because the internet screams?

Ah, the dilemmas of the 21st Century.

Weekend Update

It's been such a crazy week; I haven't had a chance to log in. I don't know if my sleep schedule was messed up from the holidays, but I've been going to bed early every night and haven't done any writing. Now I'm updating all my thoughts from the week...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

I normally don't "do" New Year's Resolutions (should that be New Year Resolutions? is Year's possessive? I digress). I prefer to think that committing yourself to being a better person should happen throughout the year. But, I've been making some changes in my life, and this year I hope that I can start realizing that I'm not a Christian just so I can be "saved"; but I'm a Christian so that I can present the spirit of Jesus to the world. I need to live a life being generous, helping others, and sharing Jesus, not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. My purpose in following Jesus is not to be saved; my purpose in following Jesus is to "be" Jesus as much as I can to as many people as I can.

It's late; when I wake up tomorrow and re-read this, I'll probably realize then how difficult that might actually be.