Rambo Platoon

Tonight was the big Rambo night. Below is a picture of the gentlemen that made their way to our local multiplex to view Rambo with me.


Pictured left to right: Jeff, Yours Truly, Scottie D., Jesse, Derrick, Jason Baier, Jay, Andree and Greg.

Not pictured is Russell. He finally relented to viewing Rambo despite contending that his “self respect was not expendable”. However, Russell took off immediately after the film and is not in the photo.

Preceding the movie was a dinner and Rambo discussion. Almost everybody shared a favorite Rambo moment from the past. I will publish those in due course, after I compile my own personal list of my ten favorite Rambo moments.

Angry Brad’s Designs

Sara sent me an e-mail announcing the formation of a new business venture she is entering into with a couple of her friends. Sara is a craft fiend. She is now making some of her creations available for purchase via a new online store on Etsy.

Below is an example of one of her tins.


The name of the new online store is Angry Brad’s Designs. If you find this tin to be intriguing, you should go check out the store. Check it out today and often. There will be new things going up all the time. Perhaps even including some t-shirts of my own design in the future. You can follow the link that I have so ultra conveniently located below to get there.

Angry Brad’s Designs – (STORE CLOSED)

Best Picture Nominations

They announced the Academy Award Nominations this morning. These are the 5 Best Picture Nominees. I still need to see There Will Be Blood, but at that point I will have seen all the nominees.

Michael Clayton

There Will Be Blood


No Country for Old Men


At this point in the game, I think my favorite would be Juno. My least favorite would definitely be Michael Clayton. Atonement has a great beginning, but I have no love for the way this movie ends. I would consider No Country for Old Men to be almost a perfect movie up until the last 15 minutes. Most people I know hate the ending. I didn’t love the ending, but I do love the movie.

New Top Ten of 2007

I saw two new movies this weekend. These movies do make it necessary for me to reorder my Top Ten of 2007.

  1. Once
  2. Juno
  3. Into the Wild
  4. No Country for Old Men
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Hairspray
  7. The Kite Runner
  8. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  9. You Kill Me
  10. The Bucket List

There are still a couple of decent movies from 2007 that I need to witness. I am planning on seeing THERE WILL BE BLOOD on Sunday. I would like to go see ENCHANTED if I get a chance. The Oscar nominations are announced tomorrow. I am excited to see what makes the cut.

Even When You Win

Saturday night was the Computer Mine Holiday Party. The Computer Mine is overly generous with the prizes that they give away at this party. I’m not sure there really is a need for these prizes after all they already give us quite a healthy Christmas present. This year I got 100 dollars in cash, 100 dollars on a Best Buy gift certificate and a digital picture frame. I attend the Computer Mine party for the camaraderie of hanging out with my fellow pick swingers. Not because I desire a prize.

Last year I noted a number of people complaining about the prizes they had won. I remember thinking that these people were dreadfully spoiled. When they walked into the party they had nothing. When they left the party they had a prize. Why should they complain about the prize. How ungrateful can a person be?

This year I found out that there are times that even when you win, you really lost. I don’t have a strong affection for video games. I think they are a nice diversion for small children and teenagers, but after the time when a person gets a driver’s license it is time for them to stop simulating life and go out and live life.

As an example of my loathing of adults playing video games, I will now publish part of a lost blog that I never published. The blog was supposed to be a parody of an exhibit Becca, Jay and I witnessed at the Des Moines Arts Festival. The blog was supposed to be capped off by a collection of pictures, but in the end I might have lost some nerve and I was never entirely satisfied with my parody pictures. Here is part of the introduction of that “lost blog” Dirty Donuts:

The thing about euphemisms is that they are symbolic. The words themselves are completely innocuous, but what they represent can often disgust and/or make people giggle.

I bring this up because it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that adults play video games. I always thought when I heard my contemporaries talking about video games they were talking about sex or sexual allusions or the cousins of sex.

“What were you doing last night?”

“You know I was up late last night playing the Xbox.”


“Any plans tonight?”

“The way my social life is going, I’ll probably sit at home tonight playing Nintendo Wii.”


“What are you giving your wife for her birthday?”

“If things break just right, I’m going to be giving her the PS3.”

Now none of these phrases by themselves sound sexual. In fact, whether or not “playing the Xbox” was a reference to sex or actually playing a video game would be distinguished by the tone of the person saying the phrase.

In art, tone isn’t so easy to distinguish. You have to really look at it to see if this is just a plate of donuts or is it meant to suggest something else.

I have a long standing history of not understanding people who have the means to do something with their time, literally wasting it playing video games.

I won a prize on Saturday night. I didn’t walk into the room with anything. I walked out with a prize. However, I don’t think you could have designed a worse prize for me. Take a look:


You see, even when you win, sometimes you really lose. The good news is that I think I’m going to be able to unload this monstrosity on a co-worker for like 20 bucks. I can use that to buy something like a haircut.

Young at Heart

I went to see The Kite Runner on Saturday night. It was an excellent movie, but what I’m posting here is a preview for a movie I saw before The Kite Runner. It is a documentary called Young at Heart and it is certainly on my list of must see movies now.


This is an awesome clip of the Coldplay song Fix You performed by Young at Heart. This is already a hauntingly beautiful song, but this performance really takes the song up a notch for me. Similar to the way Johnny Cash changed the NIN song Hurt for me forever.


Jaycees Run

I am a big fan of the 1976 science fiction classic Logan’s Run. So much so that I used the movie as the basis for the invitations to a birthday party a few years back.

Bennett's Run
Jesse and Andy as Sandmen. Me as a runner. Notice the greenish hue of the picture caused by the fluorescent lighting of the bathroom.

I went to an Ames Jaycees meeting on Thursday night. I don’t care to report much of the meeting, except that there was one point during the meeting when it came time to discuss members renewing their membership for 2008. For some reason this lead to a brief period of time when some people chanted: “Renew! Renew! Renew!”

The Jaycees already remind me of Logan’s Run because in Logan’s Run when you turn 30 you are required to go to Carousel and renew. If you choose not to go to Carousel, Sandmen hunt you down and terminate you.

When you reach the age of 40, you also get the boot from the Jaycees.

The resemblance got taken up a notch by the “Renew!” chant. When you go to Carousel in Logan’s Run, the crowd chants “Renew!” as well.


One other thing that came out of the meeting is that I found a new home for the KU basketball calendar. It hung on my wall at work a full week. Then I decided that it might need a new home, so I deposited it where I think all KU things belong.


It turns out that the President of the Ames Jaycees has questionable taste in sporting teams and roots for Kansas. Eventually that calendar will be heading in her direction. She can enjoy the 3 pictures of Drew Gooden and the picture of the KU mascot that is clearly taken at a football game. In the week that the calendar hung on my wall, the corners were already starting to bend. They didn’t try too hard when they made this calendar. Maybe KU fans don’t demand or expect excellence like Iowa State fans.

Feline Porcine

It seems to me that everybody I know that chooses to house two cats always seem to have the same two types of cats. One cat is amiable. The other cat is the spawn of Satan.

My friend Willy (see image below) is an excellent example of a person in just such a situation.


What makes Willy’s situation more interesting is that his nice cat is obscenely obese. Below are some pictures of Jake, one fat cat.







I also photographed the less interesting demon cat Toby, just in case you were interested in looking upon the face of evil.


Commuter Art

I’m sure that at least one person is going to look at this and begin to think: “Is he ever going to just take a picture of something and then that picture will look like that thing again?”

All I can say to that person is this: “I’m being influenced by a mix of modern art and impressionism currently. I like recording trails of light and finding out what the picture will look like afterwards. I do have an idea of what I’m going to get, but I never really know. That is exciting to me. It is currently dark by the time I get off of work and this is a type of photography I can do very easily at this time.”

They then might reply: “If I took a picture like that, I’d throw it away.”

I can only reply: “Look closer.”

This person would then reply: “Look closer at what? Your pictures? The ones that I’m throwing away?”

I would only reply: “Look closer.”

I took these pictures that record more of an impression of the subject rather than the actual form of the subject while I was driving home from work yesterday. I was torn on explaining the subject of these pictures or leaving it entirely to your imagination. I’ll leave it to your imagination.