Do or Do Not.

Archive for June, 2005

Maybe I need to start MapGeekz, too…

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Sorry I haven’t posted anything in the last couple of days–all of my free time at work has been eaten up by Google Earth. (And to those of who didn’t get to download it before they closed the beta–I am so sorry. You have no idea.)

I feel like such a geography geek right now. I’ve always liked maps; it’s probably one of the reasons why I’m usually the navigator anytime we take a long drive or go somewhere we’ve never been. (Terry’s obsessive and manical need for control while driving feeds into that, too, of course. <wink!>) So playing with Google Earth has been a whole helluva lot of fun for me.

And it’s been educational, too: I’m gaining a much greater understanding of how the world’s put together, the physical relationships between different places that it’s hard to get until you actually see the world in 3-D. Did you realize exactly how far north England is, by the way? I live in the northeastern corner of the U.S., and England’s several latitudinal lines above us, yet I’d always assumed it was roughly around the same latitude. Learn something new every day.

I might start posting interesting things I discover in hopes that you’ll find it interesting, too–and I know that geography (especially geography of places outside of the U.S.) isn’t really one of the things that gets taught all that well or that often in American schools. Would you guys be cool with that? Maybe I could make it a weekly feature?

Written by Allen

June 30th, 2005 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Technology

Most Awesomest. Thing. Ever.

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I’ve tried a couple of times to find a way to talk about Google Earth, but I just can’t. Words are failing me. You just need to experience it for yourself to understand.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Google? Because I do. In unholy, unspeakable ways.

Written by Allen

June 28th, 2005 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Technology

Monday Photo: College Hill

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This photo of my niece was taken along the gorgeous Benefit Street in Providence, running dead through the Rhode Island School of Design with Brown University just up the hill. The College Hill district of Providence is far and away my favorite part of the city–just walking or driving through it, seeing all the talented and/or smart Brown and RISD students going about getting their learn on, makes me wish I’d been more serious about selecting a college when I was in high school. (No offense or anything, UWF.)

But those wishes are always fleeting: if I’d gone to RISD, or to Brown, or to the Kubert School of Art where I was actually accepted–if I’d gone anywhere at all other than UWF–then I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I wouldn’t have the wonderful wife and two amazing children and all the fantastic people I’m lucky enough to call friends.

So I’ll just cruise through College Hill from time to time, excited (and a little jealous) for those students getting to attend such fine schools, and I’ll think about what might possible have been…and about how happy I am with what actually is.

Written by Allen

June 27th, 2005 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Photography

Cruising for a bruising

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Isn’t there anyone left in Tom Cruise’s life who can tell him that the time has come for him keep his damn mouth shut? I liked the old, relatively private Cruise far, far better than the obnoxious, showboating knowitall who’s dumping his rat-pellets of condescension and simulated love all over the media.

What he’s done to poor Katie Holmes is one thing–at the rate they’re going, her career’s to be over faster than FOX can cancel a quality TV show. She’s already been told her services won’t be needed for the next Batman movie, largely because the suits at Warner Bros. were annoyed that her antics with Tiny Tom were overshadowing the promotion of Batman Begins. I doubt that’s the kind of career boost her contract with Cruise specified.

But as annoying as The Tom and Katie Professional Courtship Show has been, what’s really starting to get under my skin is his spouting off about Scientology all the damn time. Does he really think acting like an arrogant ass makes him a good poster boy for Scientology? Even the most devout celebrity Scientologists don’t talk about their “religion” all that much, Tom, and do you know why? Because they know that it makes them look like mush-brained lunatics to sane people.

It’s not just that so many of the ideas involved in Scientology are so bizarrely dumb. It’s Tom’s attitude and conviction that his is the only worthwhile spiritual path–anyone who disagrees with him is obviously just a big stupid-head and hasn’t done their homework, or else they’d agree with his views 100%.

Just this morning, Cruise got in a tiff with Today’s Matt Lauer because Lauer dared to question Cruise’s beliefs:

“You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do,” Cruise said. The interview became more heated when Lauer, who said he knew people who had been helped by the attention-deficit disorder drug Ritalin, asked Cruise about the effects of the drug. “Matt, Matt, you don’t even — you’re glib,” Cruise responded. “You don’t even know what Ritalin is. If you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, OK. That’s what I’ve done.”

The flat-out balls of those statements just blows my mind. Matt Lauer’s a smart, educated guy and I’m sure he didn’t get to be host of the Today show by not knowing what he was talking about. I’m honestly a bit surprised Lauer didn’t slug him. I certainly wouldn’t have blamed him if he had.

I can’t see Cruise’s recent Scientological blitzkreig bringing the funds of any new followers to Xenu’s coffers. If anything, I’d imagine it’s only exposing more and more people to its ridiculousness. Maybe the “church” will excommunicate him for…nah, what am I thinking, he’s far too rich to be kicked out. There’s still some buildings in downtown Clearwater the Scientologists don’t yet own, so I’m sure Tom’s safe.

Oh, and in addition to not being able to recount how he and Holmes met, Cruise continues not to be able to offer up any valid reasons why he’s so head-over-heels, couch-hopping in love with her:

“I don’t want to compare things,” Cruise said. “It’s that thing where you just — in life when it just happens. … You meet someone. And it’s — I can’t even describe it.”

Tom, it’s time to go back in your box. One of the reasons you’re a superstar and not just an actor is due to the fact that the public doesn’t know all that much about you. The less we know–more specifically, the less we know that doesn’t make us want to kick you in the goddamn teeth–the more we can project onto you whatever we want you to be.

And right now, what we want you to be is quiet.

Written by Allen

June 24th, 2005 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Pop Culture

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Yet more birthday wishes…

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…this time to our good friend The Most Excellent Michelle, who turns (I’m pretty sure) 29 today. I’m finding it utterly impossible to believe that I’ve known her for nine years, but, somehow, it’s true.

Michelle’s one of my very favorite people: she’s whip-smart, a truly genuine person, a helluva lot of fun to play Drunken Uno with, cute as the proverbial button and an absolute sweetheart–though I intend to keep myself off of her shitlist, because I don’t that’s where anyone would want to be.

(Hmm, I realized while writing that last paragraph that those qualities also apply to her husband, my good buddy Monkeyboy Jay. But I can’t be throwing too many compliments his way just now or I won’t have anything to say when his birthday rolls around.)

So happy birthday, Michelle! I’m looking forward to being able to tell you that in person next year.

Written by Allen

June 24th, 2005 at 1:55 pm

Posted in General