rjray.org    Powered by Blosxom

This work licensed under a Creative Commons License:

+ raelity bytes
+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
+ gnat [use Perl;]

Syndication feeds:
# RSS 1.0 format
# Atom 0.3 format

My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
- Book page for Programming Web Services With Perl

Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
= Tim Bray
= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

» Blogs that link here

Powered by Technorati

We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Why I Left Oklahoma, #1 2003.03.24.21:33

"We're just lucky we're nice white kids from Canada."

Canadian rockers detained as potential terrorists while gassing up their tour vans in Oklahoma. Must have been the shifty eyes and flapping heads.

(I had a hard time deciding whether to put this under "funny" or "politics", but I decided on the latter since it's really about the absurdity of our terrorism hysteria.)

# [/politics]

Movie Review: <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Details?0280720">The Guru</a> 2003.03.24.21:09

I saw this last weekend while I was in Orange County. I'm a big fan of Heather Graham, and I figured that with her playing a role described as, "the Meryl Streep of porn actresses", I couldn't go wrong.

Overall, this is a likable romantic comedy. It's not terribly ground-breaking, and it's no My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But you do come to care about the main characters (much more so than you did in Daredevil), as well as many of the others as well. It's rife with ethic jokes about Eastern Indian immigrants, just as Greek Wedding was with regard to Greek immigrants. And naturally, many of the jokes are things that no non-Indian writer could have gotten away with.

In a nutshell, the main character (Ramu) comes to New York from India, hoping to make a career for himself as an actor. The opening is very touching, showing how he develops his love for American cinema by sneaking out of the Indian musicals his family goes to, and into the showing of dubbed American fare such as Grease in adjacent theaters. But when he gets to New York, he finds that the cousin who claimed to be so successful is in fact driving a cab and living in a tenement building with two other Indian men. After getting frustrated with a waiter's job, he goes out for a film audition for a "swarthy, foriegn-looking male", not realizing it's a porno. Shortly after, he ends up posing as a guru for a party, and accidentally becomes an overnight sensation.

Besides the two main stars, there are nice supporting turns by Marisa Tomei and Christine Baranksi, as well as bit parts by Micheal McKean and Dwight Ewell. As much as I enjoyed it, I don't think anything will be lost by waiting for it to hit video and renting it then.

# [/entertainment/movies]

Movie Review: <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Details?0287978">Daredevil</a> 2003.03.24.21:06

First things first: I don't think that this movie sucked. Of course, it could have been better, and it was not as good as Spiderman or X-Men. (I have come to feel that X-Men may be the best live-action adaptation of a comic book thus far.)

Having said that, it's not a great movie. Neither Ben Affleck or Jennifer Garner give you any reason to care about their characters. I thought that the casting of Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin was a genius stroke when I first saw the trailers, but he doesn't really get to do much more than stand there and smoke big cigars (and he doesn't even do that well— couldn't they have arranged for James Gandolfini to take a day or two off from The Sopranos to give him a few lessons on being a crime lord?). Probably the best acting was put forward by Colin Farrell as Bullseye. Which is to say, he had the freedom to be totally over-the-top, and as a result is the only one who really seems to be into what's going on.

Overall, worth seeing at a matinee or a cheap-seats theater, just to get all the action and F/X on the big screen. But you won't lose that much if you wait for it on video.

And one more thing: when you have a great ass-crack of a chin like Ben Affleck does, maybe taking a role that has you put on a half-mask that covers everything from the NOSE UPWARDS, and thereby DRAWING ATTENTION TO THAT GREAT PLUMBER'S FOUL residing below your lower lip, isn't such a great idea. Next time, hold out for the Hulk role.

# [/entertainment/movies]

The Alienist, by Caleb Carr 2003.03.24.10:43

This is no new release, indeed even the paperback edition has been out for years. This was recommended to me before I even moved to California, and it has taken me until now to finally read it. What a shame that is, because this is a first-rate book.

The book takes its title from the name by which early psychologists were known: alienists. The setting is New York City, 1896, and a small group of people have been assembled to try and comprehend a murderer who has struck mulitple times with very similar characteristics. What we automatically recognize now, 100 years later, as a serial killer. But in turn-of-the-century New York, this isn't something anyone has seen before. The closest anyone comes are those familiar with the Whitechapel murders some years earlier in London.

The cast of characters includes Theodore Roosevelt, then Commissioner of Police for the greater NYC, Lazlo Kriesler, an alienist specializing in troubled and abused children, Sara Howard, a secretary to Roosevelt who is desperate to be the first female detective, and the narrator, James Moore, a police-beat reporter for the New York Times who ends up along for the "adventure" due to his friendship with Roosevelt and Kriesler. The supporting characters are numerous and colorful. In fact, the whole of NYC is in a way a supporting character for the story. Carr's understanding of the city and the period are amazing, and his descriptions (both pleasant and not so) really convey a sense of the place. The visuals he evokes are fantastic, even (or especially) when describing the horrors of the poverty and indifference the city suffered under.

The book took me a while to finish because it is rather lengthy, and I was distracted from regular time spent reading early on. Also, it is a little slow to get going in the first third of the book, so it's easy to put it down after only a little bit of reading. But by the middle, it really starts to pick up. And in the final third, your understanding and compassion for all the characters should be such that putting the book away becomes harder and harder. I read before bed to relax and clear my head, but towards the end I kept wanting to turn the light back on and read just one more chapter, just a few more pages.

If you like suspense and/or mysteries, then I believe you would greatly enjoy reading this book. I look forward to reading more from this author. This one goes straight into my "favorites" list.

# [/entertainment/books]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

Powered by Blosxom [Valid RSS] Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! creativecommons.org