I'm fighting with my computer again this morning, and (so far) I'm managing to keep up a holding action. I need to pick up a CD-ROM cleaner set, because a few of the CDs I've burned (for strictly archival purposes) are not being read properly for some reason. Only part of the data I put onto the discs is now legible, and since I know that they haven't gotten scratched, the only other option is that the drive needs cleaning. Living out on the fringes of the Southern California desert as we do means that dust settles everywhere. Including inside the computer. I have to clean it out on a regular basis, but I haven't gotten inside the CD drive yet. I am also going to need to pick up a new keyboard and mouse, since they have put up with a lot of respective clicks. Fortunately, I can find good replacements for low prices. About $30 ought to handle both easily, and if I shop around a bit, I can find even better deals (I remember one time when I bought a new mouse for $10, and got a $10 rebate coupon, so, in effect, the mouse was free, except for the 78 cents in sales tax.)
I'm almost through with the second Harry Potter book, and it's plain that the books were written with "young adults" in mind. It's still an interesting read to see how they differ from the screen adaptation, and it's always interesting to see which parts the director/producer/screenwriters decide to cut. Kind of like reverse-engineering a movie. I know a smidge about the Special Effects (SFX) in a movie, and the first time through a movie I usually get taken by surprise by the effects, but the second and third times through, I usually watch it to see how the effects were done, whether it was through computer graphics, or stunt doubles, or some other means. I'm ocasionally wrong, but I don't watch to destroy the illusion, I watch to learn a bit about the thought processes that went into creating the illusion in the first place.
One of the most intriguing movies I have seen in a long time (from a technical standpoint) was one released a few years back called Timecode
, which shows the movie in quadrants. The screen is split up into four sections, with each segment focusing on one particular storyline, but the cool part is the improvisation between the characters and the fact that all four parts are shown in one long unbroken take, from start to finish. They occasionally interact, and the spoken dialogue is emphasized from one quadrant, then the next, as the story progresses, even though you can still (barely) hear the conversations from other quadrants. They shot the film in 15 long unbroken takes, over a period of about two weeks, and then spliced it together. If you want to watch a cool film, rent it sometime.
I also hear that Shrillary has decided that she really isn't
going to run in '08. I think its because people are realizing just how much of a liar she really is. Bill O'Reilly pointed out one of the most obvious when she claimed that BJ woke her up one morning and told her that there were "some irregularities" in his "relationship" with Monica Lewinsky. Shrillary states that this "revelation" took her totally by surprise, but O'Reilly pointed out that the Lewinsky story had made the front page of the NYTimes the day before, and it seems so unlikely that she would be surprised by this (after
her infamous "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" allegations) the morning after, that she was either 1) admitting to deliberately sticking her head in the sand over a political fiasco inside her own family, or 2) surrounded by a staff so incompetant that her own management skills are called into question, or 3) ignoring one of the nation's largest news organization's headline stories (one that had been bubbling for several months).
I suspect that it is an attempt to clear the decks for Chelsea. BJ is utterly tainted by the scandals and failures of his Administration and Shrillary has been splashed so thoroughly, she'll never get clean again. Just like Teddy Kennedy can hold onto a Senate seat despite his own personal scandals, Shrillary can desparately cling to her seat, hoping for enough people to forget about Billy Jeff to allow her a shot in 2012 or 2016. However, just like Chappaquiddick has killed any chance that Teddy has at the White House, Whitewater (and
the questions around Vince Foster's death and
the Hasidic Jewish vote-buying scandal in New York and
the Marc Rich pardon (that "just happened" to coincide with a multi-million dollar "donation" to the Clinton Presidential Library and Hillary's election campaign by Marc's wife Denise) and
that it has been alleged that she wrote not a single word of her own book, et al.
) will forever kill any chance that she has at occupying the Oval Office on her own dime, so to speak.
An amusing story that recently developed was that there are some Democrats who are so hepped on Bill's reputation that they are looking for ways to amend the 22nd Amendment, so that while Presidents are limited to two consecutive terms, they can wait a term and then run again. After looking at the field of nine the Dems have gathered to represent them, I'm not surprised that they would look to BJ as the best they have to offer. However, since he has already done as much as he can legally do, they need to amend the Constitution to allow him to even run for dogcatcher. It'll never happen. That's why I think that Shrillary is stepping aside, to allow Chelsea (who has maintained a VERY
low profile for the past decade) to start by running for some safe Congressional district, and then the Senate when she hits the right age (30, according to Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 3). That should happen in 2010 (February 27th, if it matters).
We shall see.
Anyhow, I hope you're having a good day. The weather here is fairly cloudy, although I expect it to burn off later on.