Jul 30, 2010

Game On!

As a follow-up to their brilliant music video from last year, Would You Like To Date My Avatar?, the gang from The Guild debuted their new music video at Comic-Con last week. It's a Bollywood-style little thing, and Sandeep Parikh gets to pretend like he's typing on Felicia Day's butt. Lucky...

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&from=sp&fg=shareObject&vid=8cb424dc-cbdb-40be-90c5-8fb450462d2f" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"">Video: Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"</a>

Do you watch The Guild? You should.  Season 4 is underway, and you can catch the first 3 seasons on Netflix Instant streaming.  Or just about anywhere online.  Like that link over there.  Sheesh.
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I wanna type on Felicia Day's butt! Or, er, something...

Jul 29, 2010

Oh I wish...

I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)
by Sandi Thorn

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air
I was born too late into a world that doesn't care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

When the head of state didn't play guitar,
Not everybody drove a car,
When music really mattered and when radio was king,
When accountants didn't have control
And the media couldn't buy your soul
And computers were still scary and we didn’t know everything


When pop-stars still remained a myth
And ignorance could still be bliss
And when God Saved the Queen she turned a whiter shade of pale
When my mom and dad were in their teens
And anarchy was still a dream
And the only way to stay in touch was a letter in the mail


When record shops were still on top
And vinyl was all that they stocked
And the super info highway was still drifting out in space
Kids were wearing hand me downs,
And playing games meant kick around
And footballers still had long hair and dirt across their face


I was born too late to a world that doesn't care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't you?

Jul 28, 2010

Breath mint?

I was skimming through my archives last night looking for something (that I couldn't find, by the way) when I came across a post from last year about something I had to do when I was a corporate suit.  I had to tell a guy that he smelled bad, and, besides firing someone, it was just about the most awful conversation I've ever had in my life.

It got me thinking about another epic bad day at work, and I don't believe I've told this particular story before.  Then again, I didn't remember telling the story about the smelly guy before until last night.  So if I have, then please forgive me.  I'm getting old and forgetful.

First a little background.  I worked for a financial services company that mostly dealt with automobile loans and leasing.  We were pretty big too.  One of the larger independent leasing companies in the country at the time.  Our CFO had decided a while back to split the Accounting/Finance group between financial reporting and operations, and I was managing the reporting unit.  It was an interesting job for a while, but then we were purchased by a big bank, then merged with a bigger bank and then a bigger bank.   Corporate Hell, in other words.

After the first bank purchased us, we were told to set up an Internal Audit group.   So our CFO hired two accountants with auditing experience and assigned one of them to my group and the other to the other group.  The guy that was assigned to me was your classic no-personality auditor.  He was absolutely humorless, which was amazing since he was only in his late 20's at the time.  I couldn't stand the guy.  And not only for his lack of personality.

No...the guy had the worst halitosis I've ever come across in my entire life!

It was epic.  A living, green, destructive fog that killed everything that came across its path.  Some days were worse than others, but I remember one particular day when I just couldn't take it anymore.  He had been bugging me for a week to go over some reports that my group had been working on for a series of loan securitizations we were handling.  I put it off as long as I could, but there was no avoiding the guy.  He was like the Terminator.  With less personality and more stink.

So we were in my office and I was sitting at my desk as he stood behind me, looking over my shoulder at some work papers.  Now, I didn't mention this yet, but the poor guy also had the worst case of eczema that I've ever seen.  Particularly on his hands.  Yeah ladies...he was a catch all right!  And on this particular day, his breath was the absolute worst it had ever been.

My head and my stomach were just spinning.  I'd close my eyes for a second to try to center myself, but when I opened them his awful, gnarly hands were right there.  Pointing at this number or that number.  And his hot, fetid breath on my neck was just killing me.  I felt the nausea washing over me, and I knew it wouldn't be long before I had to excuse myself.  But I tried to hang on as long as I could.

Until...yeah...I booted.

Now, I didn't puke all over his grotesque hands and my desk.  I somehow managed to...ugh, this sounds horrible...keep it in my mouth.  But I bolted up and ran to the Men's Room.  I don't think he knew why I did, I didn't bother to check.  Thankfully, no one was there as I ran over to the sink and purged.  It was awful.  I still had the smell of his breath in my nose.  It was in my hair, in my clothes!  I couldn't get rid of it. 

So I eventually snuck back to my office and saw that the guy had left.  I immediately went to the CFO's office and told her that she had to transfer this guy to the other group.  I couldn't work with him anymore.  She tried to talk me through it, but I finally had to admit that I had just thrown up from dealing with his breath and dermatitis.  She cringed because she knew exactly what I was talking about.  But without any further prodding, she told me she would handle it.  She gave him some bullshit reason about making sure each auditor needing to know the ins and outs of both sides of the department, but really it was just because his breath stunk like death.

The woman who replaced him was no prize.  She was actually much more of an "auditor" than the stinky guy, so she made my job much harder.  But at least she didn't make me throw up in my mouth when I worked with her.

Now I work from home by myself and the only stink that bothers me is my own.  Phew!  I can get ripe sometimes!
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I still don't feel bad that I got that guy transferred.

Jul 27, 2010

They don't make 'em like they used to

Ballplayers, I mean. They certainly don't name 'em like they used to. Three-Finger Brown, Snuffy Stirnweiss, Burleigh Grimes, Henie Manush, Nap Lajoie, Rube Waddell, Dizzy Dean, etc... THOSE were baseball names. Now we got A-Rod and K-Rod and XYZ-Rod. I dunno.

But I was looking at some old pictures on Baseball-Reference last night and some of these guys had the map of the world etched on their faces.

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Look at that guy!  Crooked face, huge nose, protruding ears and ham-hocks for hands.  THAT was a ballplayer, right there!  Helps that the Flying Dutchman, as he was called, was probably the best shortstop ever to play the game.  He may not have looked pretty, but some people used some pretty words to describe his play.  "Nobody ever saw anything graceful or picturesque about Wagner on the diamond. His movements have been likened to the gambols of a caracoling elephant. He is ungainly and so bowlegged that when he runs his limbs seem to be moving in a circle after the fashion of a propeller. But he can run like the wind." - New York American (November 19, 1907)

photo credit: Wikimedia Comons
I don't think there has been another player who every played the game who looked like Hack Wilson.  5'6" of pure alcohol-driven fury.  He looked like a fire hydrant or a keg of beer resting on two legs.  He had a massive (for the time) 18" neck while wearing size 6 shoes.  But he could hit.  Especially in 1930 when he drove in a record 191 runs for the Cubbies.  Hack, an infamous drinker, was one of the inspirations for Tom Hanks' character in A League of Their Own.  "I never played drunk. Hung over, yes, but never drunk." - Hack Wilson.

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
There's Old Pete in his prime.  Looks older than your grandfather.  And your grandfather has been dead for 25 years.  That was Grover Cleveland Alexander.  But he was harder than a coffin nail.  He spent most of 1918 in France in WWI as an artillery officer.  Came back with a case of shell shock, a loss of hearing and he was prone to seizures.  So he compensated by drinking even more than he did before he went to war.  In 1926 he was 39 and looking like 89.  And his team, the Cubs, were tired of his drinking and insubordination.  So they sold him to St. Louis who went on to win the NL pennant.  And the old man shined in the World Series that year.  He pitched 2 complete game victories over Babe Ruth's Yankees in games 2 and 6.  And then, most likely still drunk from the celebration the night before, he came into game 7 in relief and finished up the game and finished off the Yankees for the Series title.  After the major leagues were done with him at age 43, he went on to pitch for the House of David (you really should click that link) until 1938 before his hard drinking eventually killed him in 1950. "What do you want me to do? Let those sons of bitches stand up there and think on my time." - Old Pete Alexander.

Now what do we got:  This?

photo credit: Details Magazine

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. A-Rod...more like Gay-Rod!  But, ahem, go Yankees!!!

Jul 26, 2010

Soft Rock

Whatever happened to rock and roll tough guys?

The other night, The Kings of Leon had to cancel a concert after only three songs because a pigeon accidentally pooped in bassist Jared Followill's mouth. I say "accidentally", but I don't know. Maybe it was a critique of some sort. Either way, they were disgusted and they stopped the show, apologized to fans on Twitter and offered refunds to everyone.

The official line from the band was that conditions were "too unsanitary" to continue. Tell that to Ozzy. He'd bite the head off of a freakin' bat just to get the crowd warmed up a little. But canceling a gig just because of a pigeon pooping on you? Even if some got in your mouth? That's just a limp dick reaction right there.

Well the Kings have been there before. Limp dick territory, I mean. Even wrote a song* about it. Like to hear a little of it, well it goes a little something like this...

by The Kings of Leon

I used to see you every day
Used to see you every day
I danced around your folk and soul
I danced to all your fucking soul
I left you with your nose a bleedin
And your toes creepin' around
Ahhh so mundane and incomplete
Hand me down my pants and get me off this street

I'm passed out in your garden,

I'm in I can't get off im so soft
I'd pop myself in your body,
I'd come into your party but I'm soft

Behind the fringe of a whiskey high

Mutilating cat like eyes,
And in your nose blood decadence
You try to drag me into your bohemian dancing
You paint my fingers and you paint my toes,
You let your perfect nipple show

I'm passed out in your garden,

I'm in I can't get off im so soft
I'd pop myself in your body,
I'd come into your party but I'm soft

But, I'm Soft.

I'm passed out in your garden,

I'm in I can't get out im so soft
I'd pop myself in your body,
I'd come all over your party but I'm soft

I'm passed out in your garden,

I'm in I can't get out im so soft
I'd pop myself in your body,
I'd come all over your party but I'm soft

*Supposedly written about a case of whiskey-dick affecting one of the Hollowill brothers after an epic night of excess.  Maybe even with super-model Kate Moss.  I'd probably have issues getting it going with Kate Moss too.  Chick's built like a 12-year old boy.  And despite the obvious comment coming from Slyde, I ain't into 12-year old boys.  Dig?
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I kid the KoL because I dig.

Jul 23, 2010

I've cracked the case

So a while back, former big-time celebrity Brittany Murphy died under mysterious circumstances. She was alleged to have had an issue with drug addiction, but no drugs were found in her system at the time of her death. No illegal drugs, that is. Plenty of prescription drugs. But she was determined to have officially died of of acute pneumonia and severe anemia. Weird, but shit happens.

A lot of press focused on her tubby nut-job of a husband, Simon Monjack. A lesser celebrity with some producer/writer/director credits on his IMDB page. He seemed...well...guilty, for lack of a better word. Then he tried making money off of her memorial service. That didn't work out too well for him. He seemed to be in a downward spiral by his actions and appearance. Drugs, heart problems...all that shit.

So it wasn't much of a surprise when he wound up dead as well a couple of months ago. It was weird. He was a big news story when his wife died, but when he died the news was clearly bottom of the fold. I didn't hear about it until about a week after it happened. That doesn't mean much. I don't follow "celebrity" news all that much. Especially if the news doesn't involve boobs. Female boobs, that is.

But today I read that the official cause of Simon Monjack's death was announced by the coroner.

Acute pneumonia and severe anemia. Some prescription drugs in his system, but not enough to kill him.


:::cue the X-Files music:::

I don't know why no one else has figured this out, but I know who or what killed Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack.

It was the vampires from 30 Days of Night!

Think about it.  How does a relatively healthy young person get acute pneumonia?  Maybe they were exposed to the frigid elements of Northern Alaska in the winter while being pursued by blood-thirsty killers.  And that severe anemia?  Sounds like a vampire attack to me!  Oh sure, they were in sunny California when they both died.  But that's just details.  I'm more of a big picture guy.  And the big picture in these deaths screams vampires and freezing weather to me.

Mulder and Scully would be so proud of me.

Creepy Related News: Hey, guess what?  There's a new X-Files comic book mini-series out right now starring Mulder and Scully and guess who they go up against?  That's right...the vampires from 30 Days of Night!  Coincidence?  I don't believe in coincidence.  Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. The truth is out there.

Jul 22, 2010

The High Road

I recently saw a couple of post-apocalyptic films that hit theaters around the same time last year. The Road and The Book of Eli.  They say Hollywood is cyclical, and the fact that these two similarly-themed films were released so close to each other is a testament to that.  Like the current spate of vampire flicks/TV shows.  These things come in bunches.

Now, I'm a fan of the genre. The Road Warrior, Escape From New York, The Omega Man, and The Blood of Heroes (or Salute of the Jugger in the UK...either way it's an incredibly underrated film).  All genre flicks dealing with some kind of apocalypse, whether it be zombies or war or crime.  Whatever. The exact nature of the apocalypse doesn't really matter.  It's all about the struggle for survival.  So with that in mind, I was pretty excited to see both flicks.  Not "go see them in the theater" excited, but excited nonetheless. 

The Road did a lot of things right.  The viewer isn't told what happened before.  About what happened to the planet or the nation or whatever.  There are glimpses in the form of flashbacks, but those have more to do with setting the tone and explaining the single-minded nature of the protagonist of the film.  No names are used.  The man is credited as "Man", his son is credited as "Boy".  No names are needed.  Whatever happened to the planet has done away with such niceties.

It's a bleak and disheartening portrayal of the descent of mankind into the most basic animal from which we came.  Yet it's also filled with hope.  It's all that these characters can cling to.  The man is doing everything that he can possibly do to survive.  To help his son survive.  They need to keep moving.  Maybe there is life further south, further east, further.  And even with that hope...it's depressing as all hell.  It's interesting and well-done, but it's really just numbingly depressing.

The Book of Eli was a much more polished Hollywood-type production.  Bigger stars, bigger budget and much bigger action sequences.  In this film, we are told what happened to the world.  It was war and it was complete destruction.  "The Flash" burned a whole in the atmosphere and left humanity at the mercy of the Sun.  We are led to believe that it was a religious war, and the film itself is loaded with religious references, as you could probably tell from the title.  It's religion that helped wipe us out, it will be religion that will help us rebuild.  I'm not sure I liked that theme, but if you buy the premise yadda yadda yadda.

Denzel's Eli is a compelling central figure.  A lone warrior (with a bad-ass sword/machete) following the word of God westward to a place where he can share his faith with those who deserve it.  Gary Oldman is  your stereotypical post-apocalyptic warlord with a few intellectual flourishes.  In a lot of ways, The Book of Eli felt more like an old Western than a post-apoc flick.  Especially once Oldman's character and frontier town entered the picture. At that point, the whole film turned into a bit of a derivative mess.  An enjoyable one, but still a derivative mess.

So I have a hard time picking which film I enjoyed more.  I thought about The Road for much longer after it was over than The Book of Eli, but it was just so bleak, so disturbing that it lessened my enjoyment while actually watching it.  And The Book of Eli was almost fun in comparison, in a bleak and disturbing kinda way.  Does that make any sense?

Let's say that The Road had a better story and may have been a better film, but The Book of Eli offered a more enjoyable viewing experience.  Deal?

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. What's the plural of apocalypse?  Apocalypsi?

Jul 21, 2010

Earl's favorite film scenes: Volume V

Here's a quick one from Quick Change. An underrated Bill Murray comedy from 1990.  Randy Quaid (what's the deal with him lately?) plays his dumb but loyal bank-robbing sidekick who has a little thing about bad luck.

This particular scene never fails to make me laugh.  It's just so out-of-the-blue and it totally fits my sense of odd humor.  Or my odd sense of humor.  You know what I mean...

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. "Flores! Flores para los muertes! Flores! Para los muertes! Los muertes! Los muertes! Los muertes!

Jul 20, 2010

Summer Eating

My appetite is very attuned to the seasons. I love soups, chilis and stews in the Winter. Great Oktoberfest food in the Fall. Things like that. I'm not sure what I enjoy in the Spring. Huh.

Anyway, it's been hot as balls out this past few weeks here on Long Island. Just about everywhere in the Northeast and other parts of the nation, from what I've read and seen. Finding something to eat that both easy to prepare and doesn't require turning on an oven isn't the easiest thing in the world. But I found a quick and interesting recipe online yesterday. One that only required the barest minimum of tweaking to make it perfect.

Dill Cucumber Avocado Sandwiches

Things You'll Need:
8 slices of bread - we used some good old Country White.
1 large cucumber - peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices.
2 ripe avocados - same as the cucumber.
8oz soft cream cheese
4oz sour cream
Fresh dill - as much as you like.
Ground pepper - same as the dill.
1 large lemon - or two teeny ones.

What You Do:
 - Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, chopped dill and ground pepper in a bowl.  Use as much dill and pepper as you like.  We used it all.  I mean...ALL OF IT!  You'll be lucky to find any fresh dill anywhere after we were done.  OK...it wasn't THAT much, but we like dill.
 - I'm assuming you know how to peel and slice cucumbers and avocados, right?  Well, there are some tricks with the avocado.  But I'm sure you'll figure it out.
 - Take the juice from the lemon(s) and drench the avocado slices.  Just soak 'em down.   
 - Spread the cream cheese dill mixture on one slice of bread.
 - Add a layer of cucumber.
 - Add a layer of lemony avocado slices.
 - Cover with another slice of bread.
 - Yum, yum...eat 'em up!

You can get all fancy-like and make little tea sandwiches out of these, but we just cut them in half and demolished them.  That recipe will definitely make a bit more than 4 sandwiches, by the way.  But how the hell am I supposed to know how many cucumbers, avocado slices or cream cheese you like on your sandwiches?  Sheesh!

We downed these bad boys with some sweet tea and some cole slaw and a pickle spear on the side.  All very refreshing in a Summer kinda way.  Enjoy!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Believe it or not, but the recipe I found included slices of SPAM.  Seriously.

Jul 19, 2010

Yakkity Yak

The elusive Yak-cat

It's nearly impossible to get a picture of Gogo so y'all can see what a crazy looking animal she is. It's because she literally never sits still. She's always on the move. That photo up there? That's about as good as it's gonna get. But it doesn't nearly encompass the beautiful mess that is Gogo.

From a distance, she kinda looks like a normal cat.  Then you get a little closer and you see the crazy Grandpa Munster tufts of hair growing out from behind her ears.  Then you notice the tufts of grey-ish hair growing between her toes.  Gia calls them "piano key" toes.  Black and semi-white.

But it's the underneath that is truly strange.  Look at her two front legs in that picture up there.  Her front left leg looks pretty normal.  Typical black cat coat.  But her front right leg is showing the weird yak hair that she has all underneath.  A totally different kind of coat than the rest of her.  And, as you can plainly see, she's got a lot of that crazy yak hair going on.

This is a real yak.  See that crazy hair underneath?  That's what Gogo has.

She is the most unique looking cat I've ever seen.  Even if you can't really tell that from that first photo up there.

Yak Photo Credit: The University of Arizona
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. What the hell are you?

Jul 16, 2010

A few thoughts on the Harry Potter series

I don't know if there has ever been a situation as unique in film and literature history as the Harry Potter franchise. And what I mean by that is I don't know if there has ever been a series of immensely popular novels that have been published followed so quickly by a series of immensely popular film adaptations. The films have always been a few entries behind the novels in the series, but they have been astonishingly close.

And the fact that the producers of the films were able to cast them so perfectly and keep the cast together (mostly) for seven films is even more remarkable. I don't know if you noticed, but three of the six Harry Potter films so far made it onto my 5 Star Cinema list the other day. I liked both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but they mostly felt like children's films to me. Then Alfonso Cuarón got his hands on the franchise and made the third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I was hooked.

The next two films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, were just as well-done, dark and...well...more grown-up for my taste.   They were also the first films in the series that I saw AFTER I had read the books.  Yeah, soon after the third movie I decided that I needed to give these books a try.  And I found that I was enjoying them more and more as the series went on just as I was enjoying the films more and more.  I think JK Rowlings became a better writer as the she progressed.  And I think her talents especially came through in making us care about these characters.

So I was genuinely excited to see the sixth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when it came out last year.  Especially since that it was my favorite book of the series so far.  There was soooo much going on in that book.  In fact, one of my very first blog posts over at Slyde's joint was a glowing review of this book.  Like I said, it was my favorite and I just knew it was gonna be the best Harry Potter film yet.

Except it clearly wasn't.

Don't get me wrong.  I still kinda enjoyed it.  But I think the problem with it, and maybe with the previous film if I allow myself to look at it honestly, is that Rowling's books started to become more packed with important information to the reader than some of the earlier novels.  There was some background filler, Qwidditch matches and general growing up stuff in those early books that were fairly easy for the filmmakers to remove while keeping the integrity and storyline of the series.  Not so much with the last film.  It just seemed like so much was left out.  It doesn't seem possible for a film that ran 2 and 1/2 hours, but I just felt that it did.  And it was a big letdown for me.

I found myself wishing that the filmmakers had made it into two films.  Just to flesh it out properly.  Harry Potter fans wouldn't mind.  Hell, they would have loved it.  And, knowing the immense popularity of the series, it would have made even MORE money for the studios.  But I felt cheated.  Cheated out of the proper adaptation of my favorite book of the series.  The film series, which had been getting better and better, had crashed and burned.

Now I'm started to get excited again.  Because the last book in the series is being handled EXACTLY how I wanted the penultimate adaptation handled.  Two films.  One released later this year (a day after my birthday, thank you very much), and the second released next Summer.  In a lot of ways, I wasn't overly thrilled with The Deathly Hallows.  I thought it was a great ending to the series and all, but it just didn't grab me like The Half-Blood Prince did. 

But I'm hoping the film adaptations will make it all worth my while.  Even if they are in freakin' 3-D.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't worry...I'm still gonna make fun of all of you who read those Twilight books.

Jul 15, 2010


I saw this yesterday on io9, the hip place to be if you're a sci-fi hipster like me.

It's a trailer for a film called Devil, and (despite the fact that it's based on an original story by M. Night Shyamalan) it looks pretty good.  The idea itself is pure simplicity.  Five people are stuck in an elevator, except one of them might just be.......SATAN!

Classic horror story stuff.  And if the trailer is any indication (often not the case), then it looks like it was slickly made.  It's due to hit theaters (maybe) in September.  Either way, I'll probably catch it on Netflix.

Oh yeah, and the goofy looking guy in the suit in the trailer?  Yeah, he's married to this:

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Going down?

Jul 14, 2010

Five Star Cinema

On his blog yesterday, Joe Posnanski listed his Top 100 films of all-time. I was impressed.  Not with the quality of the films he selected, and I would share his views on many of them.  No...I was impressed with simply being able to sit down and come up with a Top 100 list of films.  There are so many to choose from, and the mind sometimes forgets the odd classic here and there.  And I love movies in general, so paring it down to just 100 (or 50 or 20 or, gasp, 10!) would seem to be an impossible task for me.

Then I remembered something.  I'm an obsessive rater.  I'm constantly rating and re-rating films on sites like IMDB.  The rule is: if I look something up on IMDB, I rate it.  That's it.  Easy peasy.  Aha...but there are a lot of films that I've seen that I've never looked up for one reason or another.  And I'm certainly not going to go spend a week doing that now.

Then I remembered something else.  I already have.  Not on IMDB, but on Netflix.  You see, when we first got a Netflix account I spent a weekend going through their database rating everything that I've seen.  Why?  Because they have an internal logic function that reviews what you have rated and comes up with new suggestions all the time.  I have no idea how some of them come up based on what I've seen, but there it is.   The rating system is pretty simple:
  • 1 star = Hated it
  • 2 stars = Didn't like it
  • 3 stars = Liked it
  • 4 stars = Really liked it
  • 5 stars = Loved it

So I went to my Netflix account and simply looked at all my rated titles.  3,771 of them, if you must know.  And I picked the ones that I had rated with 5 stars.  Now, this doesn't mean that I think all of these films are the works of artistic genius.  It's just how I felt in that particular millisecond that I was rating them.  Take the first film on my list...The 13th Warrior.  It's pure cheese and I'm not sure Antonio Banderas is convincing as an Arab nobleman at all, but I love it.  I love anything that plays with mythology and old tales.  So it gets 5 stars in my book.  For the record, I gave it 8 out of 10 stars on IMDB using their rating system. 

I only included theatrical releases here.  No made-for-TV films or television shows. No documentaries either, as I had a bunch of them rated with 5 stars too.   And it made for a nice tidy list of 218 films.  Are they all masterpieces?  No way.  Some of them are not even close.  And I have to believe that there are a bunch that I'm missing.  Especially some of the older titles.  I don't know if Netflix just isn't carrying them or I skipped over them for some reason.  Either way, I'm not going back and re-doing this.  No way.

So feel free to review this huge list and let me know what you think.  Do any of them stand out one way or the other?  Any you have questions about?  Any of these you are dying to see?  Any of these choices that disgust you?  Was this a huge waste of time?  Speak up!

Earl's 218 Five Star Films
  • The 13th Warrior (1999)
  • 300 (2007) 
  • Absence of Malice (1981) 
  • After Hours (1985) 
  • Alien (1979) 
  • Aliens (1986) 
  • Almost Famous (2000) 
  • Amadeus (1984) 
  • American Graffiti (1973) 
  • Armageddon (1998) 
  • Arthur (1981) 
  • As Good As It Gets (1997) 
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) 
  • At Close Range (1986) 
  • Badlands (1973) 
  • Batman Begins (2005) 
  • Best in Show (2000)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) 
  • The Big Sleep (1946) 
  • Big Trouble in Little China (1986) 
  • The Birdcage (1996) 
  • Black Hawk Down (2001) 
  • Black Snake Moan (2007) 
  • Blade Runner (1982) 
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) 
  • Blue in the Face (1995) 
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) 
  • Braveheart (1995) 
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 
  • Broadcast News (1987) 
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) Le Pacte des Loups 
  • Bull Durham (1988) 
  • Burn After Reading (2008) 
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 
  • The Cable Guy (1996) 
  • Casino Royale (2006) 
  • Charlie Wilson's War (2007) 
  • A Christmas Story (2005) 
  • Cinderella Man (2005) 
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971) 
  • Cloverfield (2007) 
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967) 
  • Crimson Tide (1995) 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Wu Hu Zang Long 
  • The Crow (1994) 
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 
  • Dances With Wolves (1990)
  • The Dark Knight Returns (2008) 
  • A Day at the Races (1937) 
  • Dazed and Confused (1993) 
  • Dead Snow (2009) Død Snø 
  • The Dead Zone (1993) 
  • Death at a Funeral (2007) 
  • The Deep (1977) 
  • The Departed (2006) 
  • Desperado (1995) 
  • The Devil's Rejects (2005) 
  • Die Hard (1988) 
  • Diggers (2006) 
  • Diggstown (1992) 
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964) 
  • Eight Men Out (1988) 
  • F/X (1986) 
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) 
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) 
  • A Few Good Men (1992) 
  • Field of Dreams (1989) 
  • Fight Club (1999) 
  • A Fish Called Wanda (1988) 
  • The Fog (1980) 
  • Foul Play (1978) 
  • Frankenstein (1931) 
  • The French Connection (1971) 
  • Frontiers (2007) Frontière(s) 
  • Full Metal Jacket (2007) 
  • Get Shorty (1995) 
  • Ghostbusters (1984) 
  • Ginger Snaps (2000) 
  • Good Morning, Vietman (1987) 
  • Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) 
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) 
  • Groundhog Day (1993) 
  • Halloween (1978) 
  • Hard Boiled (1992) Lat sau san taam 
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) 
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 
  • Heat (1995) 
  • Heist (2001) 
  • Hero (2002) Ying Xiong 
  • Hidden Fortress (1958) Kakushi-toride no san-akunin 
  • High Fidelity (2000) 
  • A History of Violence (2005) 
  • Home for the Holidays (1995) 
  • House of Flying Daggers (2004) Shi mian mai fu 
  • The Hunt for Red October (1990) 
  • The Hurt Locker (2008) 
  • The Hustler (1961) 
  • In Bruges (2008) 
  • In the Line of Fire (1993) 
  • In the Valley of Elah (2006) 
  • The In-Laws (1979) 
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 
  • Inside Man (2006) 
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) 
  • Iron Man (2008) 
  • It Happened One Night (1934) 
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) 
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 
  • Jaws (1975) 
  • Jerry Maguire (1996) 
  • Kill Bill: Volume I (2003) 
  • Kill Bill: Volume II (2004) 
  • A League of Their Own (1992) 
  • Let the Right One In (2008) Låt den rätte komma in 
  • Lethal Weapon (1987) 
  • The Lookout (2007) 
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) 
  • Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 
  • Léon, The Professional (1994)
  • Mad Max (1979) 
  • A Man for All Seasons (1966) 
  • Meatballs (1979) 
  • Michael Clayton (2007) 
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969) 
  • Midnight Run (1988) 
  • The Mist (2007) 
  • Monkey Business (1931) 
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) 
  • Moonstruck (1987) 
  • Murder By Death (1976) 
  • The Natural (1984) 
  • A Night at the Opera (1935) 
  • Nighthawks (1981) 
  • Nil by Mouth (1997) 
  • No Country for Old Men (2007) 
  • Nosferatu (1929) Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens 
  • Notting Hill (1999) 
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) 
  • Office Space (1999) 
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 
  • Ordinary People (1980) 
  • Parenthood (1985) 
  • Payback (1999) 
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940) 
  • Pitch Black (2000) 
  • Platoon (1986) 
  • The Prestige (2006) 
  • Primary Colors (1998) 
  • The Princess Bride (1987) 
  • The Producers (1968) 
  • Psycho (1960) 
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) 
  • Quarantine (2008) 
  • The Quiet Man (1952) 
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 
  • Rain Man (1988) 
  • Ratatouille (2007) 
  • Remember the Titans (2000) 
  • Reservoir Dogs (1992) 
  • The Road Warrior (1981) 
  • Rocky (1976) 
  • Romper Stomper (1992) 
  • Ronin (1998) 
  • Rounders (1998) 
  • The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) 
  • Runaway Train (1985) 
  • Say Anything (1989) 
  • The Searchers (1956) 
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) 
  • Serenity (2005) 
  • Seven Samurai (1954) Shichinin no samurai 
  • Sexy Beast (2001) 
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004) 
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 
  • The Shining (1980) 
  • Shortbus (2006) 
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 
  • Silverado (1985) 
  • Sin City (2006) 
  • Sixteen Candles (1984) 
  • Snatch (2000) 
  • Sneakers (1992) 
  • Sorcerer (1977) 
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) 
  • Stand by Me (1986) 
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) 
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 
  • The Sting (1973) 
  • Stripes (1981) 
  • Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) 
  • Superbad (2007) 
  • The Terminator (1984) 
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 
  • The Thing (1982) 
  • This is Spinal Tap (1984) 
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975) 
  • Trainspotting (1996) 
  • Trick 'r Treat (2008) 
  • True Grit (1969) 
  • Unbreakable (2000) 
  • Unforgiven (1992) 
  • The Usual Suspects (1995) 
  • V for Vendetta (2005) 
  • The Warriors (1979) 
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989) 
  • White Heat (1949) 
  • The Wicker Man (1973) 
  • Witness (1985) 
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) 
  • The World According to Garp (1982) 
  • The Wrestler (2008) 
  • Wyatt Earp (1994) 
  • X2: X-Men United (2003) 
  • Yojimbo (1961) Yojimbo 
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. 1975 was an AWESOME year for films!

Jul 13, 2010

A little matter of ethics

Anyone who has read my blog at all over the past few years knows that I sometimes like to jazz up my posts with a picture every now and again. Add a little visual flair to some otherwise boring posts, if you will.

And there was a time that I had no problem just doing a quick Google Image search, downloading a jpeg file of my choice from wherever and then uploading it to my Blogger post. Nary a thought went into who actually owns these properties, if anyone.

But lately, I've been trying to be a better blogger. Well, "better" might be a stretch. How about more responsible?

There is a common image warehouse available on Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons) that seems to be as close to an ethical place as any to snag images. On my post about Tomoe Gozen last week, I grabbed an image they had on the site that had fallen into the public domain a long time ago. That felt clean to me.

But what do you all do? What do you all think?

I'm too lazy to constantly snap my own photos that might go along well with my posts, so grabbing images off of the Internet is my go-to play in this arena. With that in mind, I have a few questions:
  1. Do you download images off the Internet to post on your blog?
  2. Do you use a common image warehouse or will any image do?
  3. Do you credit the image source?
  4. If so, do you research that source to make sure they were the ORIGINAL source?
  5. How often do you masturbate?  (Sorry...thought I could slip that one in)
  6. Even if I use something like Wikipedia Commons, is naming the image source necessary?
  7. What, ethically, are we bloggers required to do in a world in which nicking someone else's images is so damn easy?
Now I have never been contacted to remove an image from my blog, but it is something I have thought about.  The only change, besides trying to only get pictures from Wikipedia recently, that I have made to my image policy in the past was something that NYC Watchdog wrote about a long time ago.  I'd provide the link, but it really was a long time ago.  It had to do with Blogger's two ways of embedding pictures.  One was from a file on your computer and the other was from a link to someone else's site.  He wrote about how using the second option was wrong because you would be stealing someone else's bandwidth or something.  I'm not sure about the technical aspects of it, but it made sense to me at the time so I stopped doing it.  Frankly, I'm not even sure that Blogger has that option anymore.

My point of this whole schmeggegie, is that I'm trying to to the right thing here.  If not in the past, then at least going forward.  And I'd genuinely like to hear your opinion.  Especially about question #5.
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. That often?  You dirty birds!

Jul 12, 2010

Come Monday

I'm not normally a beach kinda guy. Pale skin and pudgy around the middle doesn't add up to a comfortable beach experience for this particular dude. But Gia loves the sun and I do what I can to keep up. That has led to some actual color on my skin this year. I've even made a few trips to the dreaded beach. And on Long Island, we have some extremely varied choices when it comes to beaches because of the geography of the island.

It's all a part of the unique North Shore/South Shore dichotomy (mentioned here) that exists here on our island.

You see, Long Island was formed during the two most recent Ice Ages around 21,000 years ago.  When the glaciers receded on two separate occasions, gravel and loose rock was left over in the form of two moraines that run along the North Shore and the middle of the island.  Everything south of that second moraine is an outwash plain.  That's just a bunch of technical hoo-ha to explain the fact that the beaches on the North Shore of the island are rocky, hard  and awful while the beaches on the South Shore are sandy, soft and beautiful.

I experienced both in the past two weekends.  Two Sundays ago, my sister and brother-in-law took us to Fire Island (the non-gay section) on their boat to watch the fireworks over the bay.  It's a barrier beach on the South Shore of the island, for those of you not in the know.  The fireworks were preceded by a day of play on the ocean.  And the beach was gorgeous.  Then yesterday, we opted for the closer option.  A North Shore beach* that is about a mile from our house.  The best thing I can say about it is that it's convenient.  Other than that...not much.

*Here's a picture of a typical North Shore beach. Try walking on that beach with your bare feet!

We packed a lunch, grabbed the NY Times and a beach blanket and we were off.  And I was cooked after about 2 hours even with a liberal dose of sunscreen.  But since it was so close to our home, I was able to run home for a while and pick Gia up a couple of hours later.  She can spend all day at the beach as long as the water is inviting.  Me?  Not so much.

It's 7PM on Sunday as I'm writing this and I'm watching the Jimmy Buffett Gulf Coast Benefit show streaming on CMT.com.  Seems to be a fitting end of the day for a dude with beach brain.

Hope y'all had a nice, sun-filled weekend!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. "I got my hush puppies on, I guess I was never meant for glitter rock and roll."

Jul 9, 2010

Tomoe Gozen

I got a figurative kick in the head the other day while watching some junky sci-fi show on the SyFy (oh how I hate that particular re-branding) Channel. Something called Riverworld.  An adaptation of the books from Philip José Farmer in mini-series form. It's about an alien terraformed world consisting of one large river valley that is populated by a bunch of resurrected humans who get involved in a power play between two factions of an alien race.

But none of that really matters here. What does matter is that one of the resurrected humans is a Japanese warrior woman turned Buddhist nun named Tomoe. Played by a decidedly non-Asian woman in the SyFy series, by the way. That doesn't matter here either, although it does bug me a little.

No, it's the inclusion of a Japanese warrior woman turned Buddhist nun named Tomoe that I was interested in. Because back in the day, I was a big fan of a trilogy of fantasy novels written by Jessica Amanda Salmonson about a Japanese warrior woman turned Buddhist (or Shinto) nun named Tomoe Gozen. But that doesn't make any sense. Farmer's novels and the SyFy mini-series included historically real characters, right?  Why would he choose to use a fictional character from a fantasy trilogy that no one in particular has even read?

Well, it turns out turns out that Tomoe Gozen was a indeed a real woman who lived around 800 years ago.  And she was the rare female samurai who fought during the Genpei War*.  Well, she most likely was real.  Kind of hard to prove.  Some think that she may have been the creation of one of the authors of The Tale of the Heike.  Who really knows?  But the mere possibility that she actually existed is what blows my mind.

I just never thought that Tomoe could have been a real person.  Sure, some of the background stuff in Salmonson's work was based upon historical events.  I was kind of into Japanese history and mythology back then, and I had read plenty of stuff on my own.  That's how I found Salmonson's trilogy, I guess.  But her work was so grounded in mythology that I never even dreamed that her subject may have been a real-live person.  A female samurai fighting amongst men with double butterfly swords.  Incredible!

Now I have to go back and find those novels to re-read once again. 

I've said it before...isn't The Internet a wonderful thing?

*Oddly, this is the second time I've come across the Genpei War here on my bloggy travels.  Remember the first time?
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I'm the only person who probably cares about this, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Jul 8, 2010


I spent some time last week looking for this clip from Louis CK's incredible new FX show Louie to no avail. Wasn't on Hulu or Youtube anywhere. But sometime in the past couple of days, Louis CK was able to get it uploaded. And you should watch it.

Because it's fucking brilliant.

It's a bunch of comedians sitting around playing poker and the conversation turns to gay sex and gay men, as one of the crew is, in fact, a gay comedian. Because the rest of the guys are always asking him about it.  Some fun is poked their way for that, by the way.  Obsess much?

It's funny, it's honest and it's ultimately poignant.

Absolutely brilliant. And NSFW for the language, if you care about that.

PS - Although these guys are mostly playing themselves, it is a semi-scripted show and I really don't think Nick DiPaolo is that much of a homophobe.  Then again, maybe he is.
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. "Shove it straight up your mother's shit maker."

Jul 7, 2010

It's effing hot out....

...so let's listen to some cool music. Whaddya think?

Sublime - What I Got

I couldn't find an unedited version, so you get the SFW edition. Deal with it, beeyatches! Sublime always makes me think of summer and the beach. Always.

Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City

It's a hot one out there kids. It's a pity that the days can't be like the nights, all right.

Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun in the Summertime

Sly may have been a sonuvabeetch, but damn if he and his "family" didn't make some good music.

The Motels - Suddenly Last Summer

Are you cool enough to remember The Motels? Were you hip enough to appreciate them?

Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime

That's right. Mungo fucking Jerry! Possibly the greatest one-hit wonder summer hit of all-time.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Stay cool, my bloggin' brothers and sisters .

Jul 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Gia!

Once again, it was a whole weekend of celebrating for Gia's birthday...which is actually today. Just in case you wanted to get it tattooed on your inner thigh or something. Just me? Ok...let's move on.

We did a mini-Ramble on Friday night in preparation for a larger, more proper Ramble on Saturday evening here at the homestead. Fun and booze was had by all. Except the expectant mother in attendance. We're not animals, people

On Saturday, I woke up to a text message from my sister wanting to know if we wanted to spend the day on the boat with them. Fuck and yes! So we packed a cooler with some drinkables and lunchables and headed out onto the Great South Bay. An afternoon of boating and beaching and beer..ing. 'Twas loads of fun. After much time in the ocean we trekked back over to the bay side and the boat to watch the awesome fireworks display from a barge that was anchored about 200 yard from where we were anchored. Very, very nice!

Then we headed back to my sister's house to jump in the pool for a midnight dip. Because family was involved, there was only a minimum of nakedness going down. We're not animals, people.

So it was heaps and heaps of fun. She had a blast and she deserved it.

Happy Birthday, baby!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. How old are you now?

Jul 2, 2010

Holy Guacamole!

Those of you in the NY Metropolitan area are probably familiar with a local cable channel called Telecare. It's basically run by the Rockville Centre Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. As you would assume, lots of religious programming. Ministry this, ministry that, ministry coming out of your ass. You know the drill. I'm sure most places around the country have similar television stations.

Anywho, we were doing the old remote control boogie last night, and Gia came across a cooking show on that station. And. It. Was. Awesome!

I'm not gonna post any screenshots or go into extreme detail, because, even though I'm more of an unbeliever, why risk that particular Hell, eh? Let's just say that it was hosted by a priest who looks like the Dad from Family Guy.

His chin does look like a set of balls.
And Fr. Griffin was joined by two other priests.  One who looked a bit like an extra from The Sopranos and the other kinda looked like my old friend Bob Balaban.  They were making pasta primavera from leftovers in the fridge. It was fascinating television.  Really.

The show wasn't really about cooking, however.  It was more about these three guys talking about how much being a priest kicks ass.  People come over and cook for you or they leave groceries.  And...yeah, that was about it.  Oh, lots of discussion about the people's lives that they've touched and the folks who touched them in return.  Said without a hint of irony, by the way.

Um, how long until the the Fall Television Season starts?
Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. He really looked like Peter Griffin.  A lot.

Jul 1, 2010

Welcome to Internet

There is this awesome power to the Internet.  It's really just so amazing.  Pretty much any clip from anything...we can find that.  Need a song?  Bippity boppity bacon!  Need a recipe?  Oh yeah.  The other day I wanted a screen grab from a movie that I was doing a review of and within a minute or so, I had the exact scene queued on Netflix and bam!  Got that shit!

How often do you go onto the Internet and NOT find what you are looking for?  It just doesn't happen.  Because you can find everything (except maybe happiness...there's some debate on that) on the Internet.

I'm thinking about making this site my home page.

That is all.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Because it makes me giggle.