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Everything posted by tctruffin

  1. I couldn't find a Nightmare Before Christmas thread, which kinda surprised me. However, it seems that after the success of Chicken Little 3d, the Mouse is reaching back into the catalog and re-releasing Nightmare in 3D on October 20. Not sure what to think about. I love the film, so I'm happy to be able to see it on the big screen again, but 3D? On the one hand, Disney's done some good 3D work in their theme parks, but I wonder how that will translate into the wild. On the other, well...has there ever been a movie in which the 3D effect was a) believable and b ) not a distraction from the story ?
  2. I had misgivings too when I bought Sherry a 60GB model last Christmas, but they have entirely melted away. She uses it every day. We're almost a year into ownership, and she still has a grin on her face when using it. (Hers is black as well.) I know it's not unique to iPod, but it's fantastic for long road trips. The last rental car we had featured a little aux plug so we could plug the thing right into the stereo. Drove from NW Ohio to North Carolina and back with nary a single repeated song, and we only had to carry this tiny little device instead of disc upon disc upon disc. So, rock on, brother!
  3. You could be right. Of course, we must all be Crazy Christians to think that something like Studio 60 could ever be appropriate for God fearin folk Looking back on it now, I'm kind of surprised IAF was able to do half the stuff they did. They were quite cutting edge for the subculture. That being said, one of the sadder things I remember from that time from Maranatha was a choir album they did featuring a song by a young Steve Taylor. It was very very sad. (And no, it wasn't the other Steve Taylor that went on to do tons of other sad Maranatha choir music, but an actual pre-clone ST.) Now that we've totally derailed this thread into OT memory lane regurgitations, I suppose we should give the nice people back their topic.
  4. Ok, so, for the last two weeks, the title of the unseen sketch that set this whole show in motion, "Crazy Christians," has been rattling around in my brain looking for something familiar to latch onto. And just now, I mean, right this instant, it hit me. Isaac Air Freight. Anyone here remember Isaac Air Frieght? They were a Christian comedy team from the late 70's, Maranatha Records. Their first album, Fun in the Son featured a sketch entitled "Crazy Christians" that sounded like an ad for a monster truck night. I'm drawing a blank on the content, but I do remember thinking it was a hoot. That album also featured classic bits such as "Jerusalem Dragnet," "Jesus Junkie" (yo, dude, I've got it bad. I mean look at these tracts.), and a Monty Hall tribute "Let's Trade Your Salvation." I feel better now. Of course, I'm now going to spend the night remembering all sorts of 70's Jesus Stuff. Music Machine anyone?
  5. tctruffin

    Rocky Balboa

    Yup, that's the one. I also don't believe that this is "one final round." I imagine that even after Sly is riding the great Italian Stallion in the sky, we'll be having to deal with Son of Rocky, Rocky's Grandson v. Apollo Creed IV, Klubber Lang's Cybernetic Revenge, etc.
  6. tctruffin

    Rocky Balboa

    Just watched the preview. I'm glad to see that at least Rocky's wearing his silly hat again. I may just go see it for the hat. And the beef. Punching beef is good. But mainly the hat.
  7. Ok folks, I know very little about hockey. I know the rules, bascially, and I know that for reasons inexplicable teams from the sun belt are doing rather well. But just don't ask me who the players are, where their vowels went, or who they're playing for these days. In other words, my winning this league is a FANTASY, and the reality is that anyone who joins the fun is likely to do better than I. So here's the info, let's have some fun! The league starts Oct.4, so we should have the draft, oh, say Oct. 2. Just go to http://hockey.fantasysports.yahoo.com/hockey and use the following to get in on the action. League ID#: 62054 Password: breakfast
  8. I only have one question: Are there any snakes? ::w00t::
  9. [WARNING: Venting Spleen Ahead] I love Tolkien's work probably as much as anyone on this list--and certainly more than "the man on the street"--but enough already! The man's dead. D-E-A-D. I've long had generally negative thoughts about the volua that CT has put out. JRRT was a notoriously picky writer who didn't want anything published that was not exactly the way he wanted it. That he left pages and pages of unfinished work is no shock, but it's just that unfinished, and JRRT wouldn't have wanted it. Sure, The Silmarillion has some good stuff in it--the creation myth is beautiful--and I won't argue with folks who defend it. But the tomes that follow are certainly not something that JRRT would have wanted. Furthermore, when have ANY of these started by great writer/posthumously finished by relatives or adoring fan collaborations been anything but mediocre? The Dune books are awful. The "lost" Sayers novel...I can't even go there. That sequel to Gone With The Wind? Egads, the whole thing makes me queasy. I must now go and make stroganoff to clear my mind.
  10. Last night got around to watching our videotape of the episode (that's right, VHS, baby!). Overall, just got to say we both (the wife and I) loved it, can't wait for more. Some thoughts: Felicity HuffmanI thought it was a nice touch to have her on the pilot given her turn in Sorkin's sadly sacked Sports Night. Given Sorkin's penchant for reusing actors, I wonder how long it will be before Josh Charles or Sabrina Lloyd. The possibility of weekly guest hosts opens up all sorts of doors for cameos. Title cardsThe high quality of the pilot can be blamed for the fact that I was fixating on the title cards. Was anyone else bothered by the fact that the title cards and end titles were all done in the exact same font and style as The West Wing? It even blended the teaser into the title sequence in a very similar manner. On the one hand, I guess you can say that it's a form of branding: hey look, it's a SORKIN SHOW! But I wonder if there isn't some wisdom in creating a fresh look. (Of course, with 37 versions of L&O out there what do I know?) Production valuesAs Overstreet observed, the sets and such totally rock. On an interesting sidenote, Sherry thought that there didn't seem to much of a visual difference between the show itself and the ads. She was having trouble as we fast-forwarded past commercials picking up the cues for when the show was back on. Again, how good is a show when these are the only nits?
  11. Putting aside my entirely negative feelings about a PJ-helmed Hobbit, Freeman could be fun. But I'll stick out my purist neck and offer up an unabashed 100% American voice that I still think might be able to bring some fun to the party: Josh Molina. ::pinch:: Yup, you can laugh now. But I've got you thinking...come on...think think think.
  12. You can read more about the rumor at the Digital Bits.
  13. I wish you all the best in your coffee shop venture. Seeing small locally owned coffee shops always makes me smile, and I do my best to stop in and support them. Not living near Pittsburgh, all I can give you is moral support however. In terms of coffee, my favorite coffee in the world is a signature blend from Peets called Garuda. It features coffees from the Indonesian islands. It is full-bodied with medium to low acidity. From what I see sold in the stores here in northwest Ohio and in my travels, most Americans seem to like rather acidic coffees (or "bright" coffees), especially from the Americas. I'm guessing they've been told that's what coffee is "supposed" to be. However, I like darker, nuttier, choclatier brews with some heft to them. Of course, at home I only use a french press, which helps with the body. Were I to step into Jason's store, I'd be heading to any coffee from Indonesia or Africa. As for sweetner, I'm a plain ol' sugar man myself. That turbinado sugar is nice, but not a must. My wife likes the Splenda (Equal breaks down too fast in hot beverages and turns them bitter). We've also just been introduced to something called Stevia Extract that is calorie-, sodium-, fat-, and aspartame-free. She likes it. Me, I'll just take my sugar. Oh, and no cream. Unless I'm getting cafe aulait. Which is wonderful.
  14. Oooh, the mixed emotions: the dog-sex stuff is icky-bad, but, even though I haven't read his views on those movies supposedly based on one of the most important novels of the 20th century, I can't help but have a warming place in my heart for an outspoken detester of PJ's eye-tickling false prophecy. ::blowup::
  15. Last night I was up around 2am and got sucked into a threesome of stupid films, but the one that kept my attention the most (i.e. I watched the other two films during its commercials) was Terror of Mechagodzilla. And, it is here that I must confess, I have a soft spot in my heart for all of those wonderfully awful Japanese Godzilla movies. Terror was uncommonly good, with comparatively good acting and dialog that wasn't always cringe-worthy. Yes, it does feature a dastardly plot by black-hole dwelling aliens and lots of maniacal laughter, but, hey, Godzilla rocks.
  16. Why, yes, yes I have. While at a Society for Creative Anachronism event, I took a class on cheesemaking, went home and whipped some up. While the making cheddars and what-not are rather involved processes (that I've never done), an exceptional soft, fresh cheese can be made with nothing more than milk and lemon. You simply bring the milk (whole milk provides a larger yield) up to about 170F then add enough lemon juice to curdle it--which happens almost instantaneously. Strain out the curd (cheesecloth), hang it overnight to really get the excess liquid out, and voila: cheese. This cheese is insanely easy to make and takes on other flavors exceptionally well, so its fun for parties and trying out those fantasy flavors you never see in stores: garlic/blueberry, chive/thyme, etc. A side note, I was amazed at how NOT-lemony the cheese tastes. Something in the chemical reaction between the milk and the lemon eliminates the citrus flavor. If anyone wants a more detailed recipe, I'd be happy to oblige.
  17. Should any of you find yourselves in the tiny environs of Tiffin, OH, there's two places worth a tickle. Now, some locals will try to get you into either Carmella's or Pioneer Mill for a nice meal. And you probably wouldn't go wrong. Pioneer Mill had a rather nice New Year's buffet, but their performance at other times is spotty; they can be good, and they can be baaaad. Carmella's is the rich folks choice for Italian-American cuisine. So, those places are fine and all, and the local fat cats like to point them out because they make us look all clean and respectable. BUT if you want to go where the locals really eat (that is when they're not at Lee's Fried Chicken or McD's), you really want to get yourself into Reino's Pizza at 73 E. Market St[. A very small, family run Italian joint. It features a decent buffet most nights, but the killer deals are the lunch specials. You have to work hard to spend more than $5-$6 a person, and the food is very fresh and tasty. They have a specialty pizza that features fresh tomatoes and basil on a hand-made crust that is insanely good for what this place looks like. Oh yeah, they also have a bar. But, if you're looking for pub food, the other place on my list is The Clover Club at 266 S. Washington. Another hole in the wall, this place features many, many fine beers, and one of the best poured Guinesses I've had in a while. Their burgers are first rate, succulent juicy with a pile of fresh toppings. Their fish and chips are quite tasty, and Sherry digs the Greek Salad. It's a neighborhood pub with friendly staff and great prices.
  18. Thanks for the preview, Jeffrey. As if I wasn't salivating enough. You're probably right about folks backing off from TV that's too smart, but perhaps with the dearth of thoughtful TV that's out there right now, we'll get lucky and the show will last a few seasons. You make an interesting point about the attacks on Evangelicals. One of the things that I most appreciated about West Wing was its ability and willingness to axe the hyperbolic, right-wing religious nutsos with Bartlett's razor-sharp religious wit while at the same time allowing other right-wing religious characters to interact with the Dems in respectful, intelligent ways. In other words, I appreciated the show's willingness to deal with the complexity that is real life when it comes to relgion in America. To bad that, again, you're probably going to be right, and I'll have to once again defend my enjoyment of Sorkin's shows.
  19. Yes, O-Street did stop on his way to Damascus and help me in my hour of need. There was oil and wine and...well maybe the wives don't want to know. 8O And of course you can count on me to salve and to soothe should you stray into neighborhoods whose houses are pretty but whose occupants are savage. I feel that for compliments to be real they must be truthsome, so I must say that I don't actually devote my days to teaching young people; I mean, I do have to spend some time in the next week prepping a freshman writing course that starts in a little over a week, but it's not a full-time gig--I'm only teaching one class this semester. God knows, they need help, the little blighters. And as for being a "damn fine good disc golfer," I'll take that in the spirit it's offered, for my PDGA player rating says otherwise. So, I'll speak loudly out my front door to Jeffrey and Ken, brothers in A&F who are kind and gentle and see the good, not weighing my merits but pardoning my offences.
  20. You don't say how far they're travelling. If it's a long way, and if the time period is "now," then anything other than car, bus, or airplane is going to need some explanation. Only folks on the East Coast are going to be taking a train between cities/states. That is, if the pair is going from Chicago to New Orleans, I can't see them hopping the Amtrak unless there's some special reason; the cost and travel time don't make sense in comparison to air travel. If the pair is lower class, busses make perfect sense, but, like airplanes, they can be a bit cramped for a stage presentation. You say but it seems to me that in any realistic portrayal of travel, the mode is going to provide interesting dramatic opportunities unique to the mode. Security checkpoints in the airport, rest areas and gas stops for the car--not to mention driving habits, long exposure to travelling companions on the bus, etc.
  21. Here's a question for you blogging geeks (oh how I aspire to be a geek!): I just recently moved my website over to WordPress, and I'd like to also add photo gallery functionality to my site. My webhost offers instant installation of Coppermine and Gallery2. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any help in deciding which will integrate best with WordPress. I like Coppermine's smaller size (11mb), but I have doubts about the WordPress Plugin. Gallery2 looks to have nice integration but it's a bloated whale (53mb). Anyone using any of this stuff and have any opinions about which is better? Thanks for your help.
  22. Yeah, and the local post can make a difference as well. When we were in Woodstock, IL (outside Chicago), we all sorts of trouble with turnaround, and I think it was mainly the local post office since we were fairly close to a distribution center. Now, we're in the middle of frickin' nowhere, closest dist. center in Cleveland is two hours away, and we get pretty darn good turnaround. So, yahoo! to the Tiffin Post Office. It usually takes one day to get there, one day from shipping to get to me, and they're usually shipping the next film the day they receive it. Can't complain.
  23. Just finished Joseph Ellis's His Excellency: George Washington. The Holy Way by Paula Huston The Innocence and Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton Out on the Deep Blue: Women, Men, and the Oceans They Fish edited by Leslie Leyland Fields
  24. In addition to the social uses of Library Thing, it's also a great way to catalog books for insurance purposes. Having had two close calls in which large numbers of books were threatened, it feels great to have a comprehensive (almost; still have to catalog Sherry's office) list of our books. Here's the Truffin Library.
  25. Ok, I'll bite. I have an overabundant fondness for Barry McGuire's Have You Heard. While Cosmic Cowboy and Bullfrogs and Butterflies can be kicked to the curb, Have You Heard is a fine album. Even with the "chubby chubby" song.
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