Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Is Kowalski A Midget?"

Just been rewatching a classic 1971 movie, "Vanishing Point". Anybody who enjoys films of this era, as I do, will be well aware that film crews at that time were more focused on mind expanding substances and adventurous sex than on their 401(k)s and audience demographics. As a result, their films often do not make a great deal of sense, but they definitely evoke a strong gut reaction from the audience - whereas todays' films either cause me to fall asleep (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), slap my head in frustration that it's been 3 hours and still the same old crap is going on over and over (Lord of the Rings) or throw up (anything with Sandra Bullock in it)

When I first came to the US and was picked up at the airport by the woman who would become my wife, I was subconsciously expecting her to turn up in a White 1970 Dodge Challenger. And now I know why. Of course, it turned out to be a Honda CRV.

Rent this film - or download it - listen to the insane howl of the V8 in that Challenger, and imagine it's you driving it, with a couple of Climate Change activists tied to the roof. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Playing at soldiers?

Recently in Chicago some big ass criminal gave the slip to a couple of Cook County investigators who were supposed to be minding him.

This picture came from the print version of the Sun-Times and appears to show that the cops hunting the man were possibly a little.... over-zealous.

Or maybe something more sinister is going on?

Here's a shot from the Daily Mail of a bunch of Iranian Soldiers on the march recently

So either the Iranians have invaded Arlington Heights... or they use the same tailor!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Windows 7

I've been very impressed with the new Windows 7. They've finally cracked the taskbar and window navigation - they've done such a good job it's worth the upgrade just for that. "Date Modified" is now back in all explorer windows. The accessories (Calc, Paint Brush, etc.) have received their first makeover in 10 years. There's a really great builtin utility for screen capturing. And the whole product feels more slick and well put together.

It takes around 20 minutes to do a fresh install of Win 7. I used the 64 bit version except on my home machine where I need to use a Cisco VPN. Don't install the 64 bit version unless you're sure there are drivers for all the applications you need. Of course even with the 32 bit version you may find your printer's not supported.

With Win7 installed, I then needed to install Visual Studio 2005, VS2005 SP1, Visual Studio 2008 and VS2008 SP1. Each one takes around 22 minutes.

I mean, what on earth can it be doing? And how can the service packs take as long to install as the original products?

Anyway as far as Windows 7 is concerned, I strongly recommend it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Harlot's Ghost

Norman Mailer ... "donated his ego to the Harvard Medical School" (Woody Allen)

So I just waded through all 1,200 pages of Harlot's Ghost, Mailer's novel about the CIA which took the great man of letters 7 years to write.

It turned out to be absolutely excellent

With just one problem: the last line


Thanks a bunch Norman!

(Norman Mailer 1923-2007)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

These guys are on a hiding to nothing

In the home of socialism an 88 strong "bad behavior brigade" is tasked with preventing les citoyens de Paris urinating in the street. I don't think they will have much luck - public urination, together with cruelty to geese, are as close to the heart of your average Frenchman as gun ownership is to a Midwesterner.

And as for the "Brigade des Incivilites" I believe the French language has a word for them: Tosseurs!