Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Movie Night: Your Highness

We watched Your Highness last weekend. I had pretty low expectations for this movie, and even those weren't met. I love screwball comedy, but when it seems to have been written by a bunch of horny 14-year-old boys, that just doesn't cut it. Done right, this could have been something like the Spaceballs of the sword-and-sorcery genre, but it was just a bunch of  bad accents, puerile jokes and sexism hung on a flimsy plot.

Normally, if I don't like a movie, I can still see where someone would enjoy if they were "into that sort of thing" like war movies, horror movies, or whatever other genre I don't usually go for. I can usually pull some redeeming value from even the worst movies, or at least come away with a "well, they tried, it just didn't work" sort of attitude. But with Your Highness, I really just want those 102 minutes of my life back. I really can't recommend that anyone rent it.

I wrote this review on Sunday, but let it sit for a few days to see if I still felt this way before publishing it. Yep, still do, even though I think said review has a "You kids get off my lawn" feeling. Maybe I'm just getting old, but man, I was really disappointed in this movie.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Following weather events with a Twitter list

Hurricane Irene Captured August 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene, August 26, 2011
by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
I've been curating a list on Twitter for weather events for some time, but it just occurred to me today that I should make it public (I usually make my lists private by default) and let others know it's there. It's been great for following the progress of Hurricane Irene without having to be glued to the TV (or even the computer, since I can check the list using my smartphone).

The list is by no means exhaustive and it's constantly growing. I've tried to throw in nationally known meteorologists (from the networks, for example), some government agencies, and some storm chasers. I add more as I come across accounts which are relevant.

The few locally-based accounts I included are mostly focused on eastern Nebraska. This is really all the list was when I began, but I started adding accounts with broader coverage after the tornado in Joplin, MO this summer.

I've also added some earthquake-related accounts. I didn't feel like making a separate list when I only had a couple accounts for those and there's quite a bit of overlap in reportage. (On a side note, did you know that you can Google "earthquake" and Google will put a list of the most recent earthquakes at the top of the search results? It's handy.)

The great thing about Twitter lists is that you don't have to be following the accounts you put in there, so if you don't want a lot of extra noise in your main Twitter stream, but you want to be able to check on what's going on with a certain subject, you can throw the relevant accounts in a list and then check it from time to time. You also don't have to have a Twitter account at all to view the list, just follow the link.

Announcing: Mary's Ramble Annex

I've been a bit frustrated lately. I've had this mental argument with myself going on for some time about what to do with links I want to share, but don't necessarily want to write an entire post about. I sometimes share those on Twitter, sometimes on Facebook, sometimes I just hit "Share" in Google Reader which puts them on a public page at my Google Profile, as well as posting them to Google Buzz (where I never seem to go anymore, sadly) and the list of those ends up on the "Recently Read" page here (which will probably go away soon). None of these options are very satisfying, though. I'm basically just handing the links off to someone else to handle. They are shared in someone else's format, difficult-to-impossible to edit, and difficult to find again later. 

I've often thought about just sharing the links on Mary's Ramble, but there are nights I want to share EVERYTHING I see, and I really don't want to fill up someone's RSS feed, Twitter stream, or Facebook wall with a ton of trivial stuff. That's not what I feel like people have signed up for when they follow this blog. I'd like to keep MR, as much as possible, for the times when I have something of my own to share.

I've often thought about starting a Tumblr blog (or something from a similar service), but every time I almost set one up, I decided it really wasn't what I wanted. 

At last, I decided to create Mary's Ramble Annex. That way, if you're not interested in the five things I read when I couldn't sleep last night, you don't have to be annoyed by it in the feed from the main blog. But if you are interested, you can click through once in awhile, or subscribe, or whatever, knowing that it's likely to be high-volume and low-commentary.

We'll see how it works, or if it works. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yep, it's been one of those weeks

Click through for the larger version: The Brads - Twitter Week in Review

Meanwhile, I've been buried in a hurricane of paperwork since school started. I don't think I filled out this many forms for college, and LilGirl is only in 6th grade! I've had more homework this week than she has...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Bike For Me!

If only I could afford this...

If only I knew how to ride...

When we stopped in Deadwood, we checked out the old slime plant - doesn't that sound like a great spot for a Scooby Doo mystery? It used to even look like a quintessential Scooby Doo bad guy hideout, but now it's been renovated and just opened as the Deadwood Mountain Grand. When we were wandering around inside, we found the artists' colony, and in true Black Hills fashion, much of the art had to do with motorcycles. In fact, some of the art was on motorcycles. This one made me squeal like a little girl:

If you have any trouble viewing the slideshow here, click through to see it on Flickr.

BlackbeardIt wasn't until I was editing these photos that the irony struck me of finding a bike in Deadwood with Ian McShane on it...or is that more dorky than I want to sound?

(Just in case you're confused now: Ian McShane, who played Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also played Al Swearengen in the HBO series Deadwood)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Even the gnomes are bikers this time of year

We just had a great vacation in the Black Hills, visiting family (cuddling the new nephew!), playing tourists, and checking out the motorcycles which were EVERYWHERE for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I've got lots of fun stuff to post about, but I'm crawling into bed early so I thought I'd just post this little teaser for now.

From Random

I saw this pair in the window at Prairie Edge, one of my favorite stores in Rapid City. I'm not usually a big fan of gnomes, and these were on the large side (3-feet plus, I think) but I'd definitely love to put this pair in my yard.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

My current wallpaper

I've started posting whenever I change my desktop wallpaper, mostly so I have a searchable record of what I used when, but also to share the wallpapers I find (and occasionally photos I've taken myself which turned out really well).

This was taken by Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs. Click through to the post about this photo to see a much larger version and then explore the rest of his site - it's inspiring!