Archive for May, 2008

On Monday we went to a rockin’ Memorial Day party hosted by one of our friends. There was lots of food, music, and entertainment. A good time was had by all. I spent the first hour or so of the party wandering around with my borrowed Digital Rebel (again, courtesy of Lou Ann) and 50mm prime lense snapping shots of kids playing, adults chatting, hosts hosting, waterfights, food, toys, etc. I was having a great time snapping away and had probably taken over 100 photos (in my exaggerated version of this story that number skyrockets to 200-300).

I took a shot of the folks at the Rock Band station, and, for the first time that day, looked down to check the preview of the picture to check the exposure, which I wasn’t sure was quite right. I saw the following message:

No CF Card

“^@$*!*@#$&*!!! I had left the @&*%&@!#$* memory card sitting in my computer from the last time I had pulled pictures off of it. I can’t even begin to express my disappointment. I was excited about the pictures I had taken. My level of disappointment was such that I couldn’t bring myself to take up the generous offers of “please, use MY camera” from the host and a close friend.

All you amateur photographers out there, please tell me you’ve done this at least once. Please tell me this is a right of passage that you all go through at some point. Please tell me that you look back on it now and laugh. It made me grumpy for a full hour or two after I made the discovery (my apologies to Kate and Ellen, who caught the brunt of the grumpiness).

I came home last week to find my basement looking like this. Simon loves it. The kid won’t stand still for more than 1 second, so my attempt to get him in the photo with a slow shutter speed didn’t work at all (see the blur in the lower right hand corner).

Simon's Fort

Iron Man (taken from ironmanmovie.marvel.com)It seems that the bar for movies based on comic books just keeps getting set higher and higher. Sure there are the occasional rotten eggs. Daredevil, Electra, Fantastic Four, X-Men 3, and Spiderman 3 spring to mind. Hrrrmmm…maybe the quality of comic book movies isn’t increasing as rapidly as I thought. That makes Iron Man even more impressive. Some mild spoilers may follow.

Iron Man was, quite simply, FUN. It hit just the right mix of humor and action, and the conflict between Iron Man and the big bad was intensely personal. It was less “save the world” (although there was a certain element of that), and more “you did NOT just do that to me.” Despite focusing quite a bit on the development and testing of various suits, I never felt that the movie lagged.

The special effects were terrific, mostly because you couldn’t tell what was computer-generated and what wasn’t. Granted, Iron Man flying at 30,000 feet with two fighter planes probably wasn’t a stunt double in a suit, but for just a second, you thought it might be. The acting was good across the board, with Robert Downey Jr. really standing out. He put all my doubts about his casting in this movie to rest. Gwenneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and the rest of the supporting cast were solid, if not spectacular.

The movie-watching experience for me was the best I’ve had in a long time. We saw it a week after it opened, and the theater was nearly full. I don’t remember the last movie I saw where scenes caused the entire audience to break into spontaneous applause. We did during Iron Man.

There are lots of references that are sure to get the comic book geeks excited (no, no, definitely not me. certainly not), but they don’t bog down the movie for the average consumer who just wants to be entertained. If you’re one of those said comic book geeks, you’ll probably want to stay for the scene after the credits. Or, you know, look it up on YouTube in a couple of weeks where it is sure to appear (copyrights be damned!).

Iron Man is the best comic book movie since Batman Begins, and might even pass it for the sheer entertainment factor. If you want to blow $10, there are worse ways you could spend it.

Nature once again provides stunningly beautiful images.

Casey’s mug shot. She’s in big trouble. Okay, not really. But this is what she would look like if she WERE in big trouble.

Bail is set at. . .