Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fabulous Movie Reviews®

Saw IV
Seriously now, the dude is dead. How could he possibly set up these elaborate puzzles? Unless, it takes place like the day after he and his sidekick died in the last movie.

Ok, so, this movie isn't bad as far as horror movies go. The problem is its the same as Saw I, Saw II (not so much with this one since it sucked), and Saw III.

If there's a Saw V, I ain't gonna see it. I'm bored with this quadology, and I'm not a big horror movie fan anyway. The only reason I watched these in the first place is because some bum down at the train station told me too.

5.5 out of 10.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
This stars the inimitable Brad Pitt and the only Affleck who shouldn't be eating food from the dumpster behind the China Palace, Casey Affleck.

I love Westerns. One of these days I am going to post reviews on all the Westerns I own, just so people will know how much I love Westerns. In fact, three websites I discovered this week are The Spaghetti Western Database, Son of Django's Spaghetti Western Reviews, and Fistful of Pasta, and I am hooked on them.

I expect a lot when I watch a Western and this movie, like 3:10 to Yuma, left me wanting more.

What made Jesse James a legend? That never comes through in this film. He lacked charisma. A bigger than life persona. You know, the stuff legends are made of.

There wasn't a palpable sense of the growing tension between James and Ford during the movie. It was hinted at and you knew it existed, but you were left chewing on a piece of steak with a balloon on your tongue. It was a long enough movie that they could have worked on the character development more.

The other part that I didn't like was the flashback scenes had a weird oversaturated/degaussian blur effect. It was strange.

Don't get me wrong. I liked the movie, but I have to judge it according to the other Westerns that I love.

7 out of 10.

Amores Cobertizo

Soffits = fun

This was my Sunday afternoon project

to keep out the fruit bats and wasps and spiders and other creepy crawly type things.

I pulled a muscle in my neck from all the reaching and looking up. The weather was hot as well and the liquid nails I used became extra liquidy and dripped down in long gooey strands if I wasn't quick enough putting the boards up.

The first board I nailed up and took down twice because I got too trigger happy with the nail gun on one end of the board only to discover that the other end of the board was more crooked than a Chicago politician. The boards being only 3/8ths plywood were very flexible and would sag down at one end while I was holding and nailing the other end. The piece in question was 8 feet long, so there was a lot of sag making it nearly impossible to tell if the board was straight until one end was nailed down and the other end could be pushed up into position.

After two tries with that nonsense, I just made my oldest son come out and hold up the opposite end.

Anywho...I'm still not done, but I have just four simple pieces to put up at the peak of the roof.

You can clearly see some of the gaps I have in my siding and soffits. Never fear, though. That's why some fart smucker invented trim.

Not sure what I am going to tackle next. Either the other door or steps for the other door. Probably the steps. Or maybe the door. I don't know.

After the door and steps its just trim and paint. Joy.

Oh I almost forgot. New tool for the job.

Both of my other tape measures broke.

Is this the cheapest one they had at Lowe's? Nope, they sell some really really crappy Lufkins that look like they were designed and assembled by children, for children. I could have bought another shiny chrome Stanley, but my last one just broke, so I wanted to try something different.

The brand name of the one I bought is Komelon. I have never ever heard of it and it was the only model of that brand they had. It felt good in my hand and I liked the rubberized coating on it. The release button on the top was in the perfect position. And the color was great. Bright colored tools are a must for me. And most importantly the price was just right at under $7.

Here's the weird thing. Lowe's sells their own brand of tools under the Kobalt name. I don't personally own any, but from what I've seen the quality isn't too bad. Better than the Husky tools that Home Depot sells at least. Anyway, I digress. The Kobalt tape measure was the same exact tape measure as the Komelon. Except for the color and logo they were identical. However, he Kobalt was $16! It had to be a mistake.

Update: Nope. It wasn't a mistake. Its on their website.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kip Journal 5/17/1999

hmmmm, i wonder what Kip is doing right now?

Kip said Jared sits in the corner because he was bad

Read the Kip Journal FAQ

Fabulous Movie Review®

Where the Truth Lies
The person who recommended this to me should be drawn, quartered and sentenced to watch Leonard Part 6 Clockwork Orange style. Too bad I can't remember who that unfortunate soul is.

I hate narrated whodunnits set in the 40s, 50s or 60s involving celebrities and/or Los Angeles/Hollywood with a dangerous/naive/dead femme fatale. See: Mulholland Falls, Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential.

4 out of 10

Mr. Brooks
This, my friends, is a solid thriller. William Hurt and Kevin Costner play their roles as each half of a split personality perfectly. Some more articulate stuff here...both characters on screen at the same time...articulate. Deep thoughts. Keen observations.

When I brought this home (I actually made a special trip to Blockbuster because I didn't feel like waiting for Netflix), my wife said she thought I didn't like Kevin Costner. Kevin Costner? I replied. I mentally went through my mind's hated actors database...hmm. Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas. Nope, I like Kevin Costner. How could anybody not like the man who brought us Field of Dreams?

7.4 out of 10

Grumpy Old Shed

Got the double doors done last weekend. What a pain. Easily the worst part of the entire project. They came out ok. I'm not entirely happy with them. Maybe next year I'll spring for a nice set of steel double doors. Or not.

The frame of door #1.

It's made of twobafours laid flat.

Screwed together with 3 inch screws. I drilled two half inch wide holes (2nd hole not shown) about half way through the twobafour for the screws to go in. With the cross brace I attached later (cross brace not shown), the frames were pretty sturdy.

Door frame #2

Um. It's pretty much the same as the other one.

Now lets skip all of the pain and suffering that occurred whilst attaching hinges and hanging doors and trimming plywood and go straight to the finished product.

I know what you are thinking. Go ahead and ask. Here, I'll answer for you. I meant to do it. For reasons that seemed like a good idea at the time. If you have no idea what I am talking about then good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lyndon B. Johnson Sacrificed Chickens

I hate talking about politics. Mostly because I get very angry and inarticulate which just makes me look like a mouth breathing idiot. Then you think you are smarter than me and we can't be friends any more because I read "you dumb Republican Dubya lover" into every sidelong glance you pass my way and I just want to punch you and scream "I voted for McCain in 2000, you [expletive]!" So instead I just keep my mouth shut and cover my ears while you blather on to whomever you are conversating.

Disclaimer: I have no proof that Lyndon B. Johnson sacrified chickens to his god, but I also have no proof that he didn't.


My neighbor has 6 cats that live in her junk. I like to throw stuff at them when she is not home.

Kip Journal 5/12/1999

Kip could take one sip of a margarita and tell right away if it had non-alcoholic triple sec in it.

Kip is a dink. Everytime I look at him I say to myself, "[expletive], Kip's a dink".

Read the Kip Journal FAQ

Ramp to Perdition

A neighbor of mine tore down his deck and offered me whatever wood I wanted. Normally, I am the type to turn down such offers, because I hate hate HATE when people try to unload their trash on me. I scratched my head for a minute thinking and suddenly a little utility light bulb turned on above my head.

The ramp! Perfect.

I grabbed two 12 foot 2x10s and 6 pieces of decking and set to buildin' a ramp. The wood is old and a little beat up, but its not bad. Plus, it saved me about $50.

Step 1

Attach some small pieces of wood to the shed. These provide support for the ramp's joists.

Step 2

Attach ramps.

Cutting the angles for the ramps was easy using the same framing square technique I used for the roof rafters. I thought for sure I would screw it up. Not this time, evil shed gods, not this time.

Step 3

Attach the decking.

These boards were really weathered, but the flip side was (almost) brand new. Not bad for free.

I wonder if he has wood I could use for the stairs...

Postscript: In between steps 2 and 3 I added support for the bottom of the ramp and blocking in between the ramps. Somehow I forgot to take a picture.

Also, I stepped on a board with a nail in it. That hurt. It's been a while since I had a tetanus shot. The nail didn't go in very deep though. But then one of my wisdom teeth started to hurt which made my jaw really hurt. It's better now, so I guess I wasn't coming down with lockjaw. Too bad. I was hoping to call in sick. For a while.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Libby Grace Jefferson

Took a walk on my lunch break, as I am often prone to do, the other day and stopped at three locations on Church Hill, Jefferson Park, East Grace Street and Libby Hill Park. The views of the city from these points is pretty cool. Unfortunately, my camera and the hazy part of hazy, hot and humid didn't help either.

First up, Jefferson Park.

There she is. The tallest and ugliest building in Richmond. Heck, Virginia too. Maybe even the entire eastern seaboard. Something straight out of Leningrad. A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Never Built Virginia exhibit at the Library of Virginia, and while I have no photographic proof of it, the original plan for this, the ugliest building in America, was for TWIN TOWERS connected on several floors by bridges. Amazing, that somebody could design one of these monstrosities and then say to themselves, "my design is so awesome, it needs to be doubled in size."

Another shot, showing the VCU Medical school buildings. Nothing spectacular.

A view of Grace Street. That's where I will take the next pictures from. I'm not sure what that white tower is. Some sort of satellite/antenna/radio deal.

See, theres Jefferson Park. I'm a Jumper.

Ahhhhhh. Make it go away! It actually might be kind of funny to take a picture of that building every where I go. Its like a painting where the eyes follow you around a room. No matter where you are in the city, this colossal concrete tower of fug is always looming over your shoulder.

Libby Hill Park

Tobacco is king. Or used to be anyway.

Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument. My first thought was, "they had sailors?"

The view that named the city.

Nope. Won't Be Going There.

Article about a bunch of modern day hobos living on islands on the James River.

My most recent excursion to the pipeline is right near where these guys live and you can see the islands in some of my pictures. I was curious about the islands and was going to make my way over there one of these days.

Not so sure that would be a good idea.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fabulous Movie Review®

Remember how I mentioned the other day that I don't see as many bad movies nowadays because I don't have the pressure of staring at a wall of movies at the movie store because of NetFlix?

Then this baby comes in the mail.

I can always depend on my wife to add something to the queue which I've never heard of, starring actors I can't stand.

Don't get me wrong. I love to be pleasantly surprised. She's come up with a couple of good movies that I otherwise would never have seen (of course, there is also big wet farts like Heavy), but for the most part I welcome the diversion.

So, on to my eloquent review. Not quite a wet fart, this movie left a stink in the room regardless.

Samuel L. Jackson is in it which is good. Hayden Christenson is in it too which is bad. Rachel Bilson is in it too. I don't know who she is but I could hear her face creak when she smiled like my leather couch does when I sit in it. And she's only 14 or something.

Perhaps I am too harsh. This movie isn't that bad. It's just not good. The Hayden Christenson character should have died about 58 times by my count. Even for a movie in which you fully expect to quiet your inner "that can't happen" voice, it was just a little too much silliness for my liking.

Gagknee's Grade: D+

Battlefield Shed

In kind of a holding pattern until this coming weekend when I buy wood to make the doors. Sorry to disappoint all three of you. In the meantime I used up some of the leftover lumber to make a workbench and some shelves.

It gets mighty hot in there and I am already contemplating where to install an air conditioner. Thats next year. After I get electricity to it.