Saturday, 24 December 11
It's done, it's done, it's done!!! Just in time for Christmas (?) I've released my 2011 Halloween Night video. My apologies for taking so long, the file I was working with was over 12GB in size. It wasn't big because of HD video or anything, it's just because I let the camera run for 6 hours before shutting it down. The file was pretty unwieldy and a bug in the encoding prevented me from splitting it without reducing the original quality. So, needless to say, it was a slow-go all throughout the editing process. Anyway, enough of the tech stuff, enjoy it and Merry Christmas!
Monday, 12 December 11
The Halloween video work continues. In the meantime, enjoy these pics of the new masked City Hunter from the NECA Predator 2-pack available exclusively from Toys 'R Us (and from several dudes in Hong Kong via eBay). Apparently I'm one of less than a handful of people in the US that have these in-hand at the moment:
I made the next two shots over the weekend and I really love them.
Kyle Windrix, a.k.a. tankman, the sculptor of this particular figure,
has seen these and subsequently remarked, "The pix are so cool and
really bring out the sculpt very nice. Great job on it."
And two more...
I'll be adding all of these and more to my picture gallery in the future. In the meantime, enjoy them here.
Sunday, 4 December 11
I just wanted to pipe in to say that I'm still working on the Halloween video. Trust me, it'll be worth it. In the meantime, enjoy the spirit of Christmas courtesy of Skynet.
Saturday, 5 November 11
Several updates for you today. First up, I forgot to mention last
time that I updated my Blu-ray Mini Marquee review page. So
it is. Next up, I uploaded pictures of my newest acquisition,
Sideshow Collectibles' Classic Predator Battle Damaged Mask. Please
feel free to check it out this incredible piece in all of its glory
here. Finally, I took some
pictures of the Halloween configuration of my bar during the month of
October. You can find that gallery
Sunday, 23 October 11/font>
EXCLUSIVE: Pics from the new NECA Terminator Series 2 are up here.
Saturday, 22 October 11
A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a new film on HDNet Movies called
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
This film is currently playing in theatres (thank you for the preview,
HDNet Movies!) and I can't recommend it enough if you like the horror
comedy genre. The movie is laugh out loud funny, and holds up on
repeated viewings. Anyway, check it out in cinemas now, or look
for the Blu-ray at the end of next month.
Saturday, 1 October 11
A bit of daydreaming during the week led me to recall that I never posted pictures of the elusive D-Box motion controller or info about the D-Box "Audio Mode" in my D-Box FAQ. Consider it done!
Saturday, 24 Sep 11
Thanks to a recommendation from
blu-ray.com, I watched a fine
little police procedural last night called
Blitz. I wasn't expecting
much from it, but it turned out to be a great little film in the vein of
Dirty Harry. Even my international confidential secretary enjoyed
Sunday, 28 Aug 11
Today I'm running a review of a great new product for your home theatre,
Blu-ray Mini Marquee. The
what is often called the final film in John Carpenter's unofficial Apocalypse
Trilogy, In the Mouth of Madness, for the first time in over a
decade last night. Awesome movie! "Do you read Sutter Cane?" is such
a great quote from this movie. I think I actually liked the movie even
more than the first few times that I saw it. If you've never experienced
it before, it's definitely worth a look - it actually made me jump in several
places. Speaking of John Carpenter, I thought I would share some of his
words of wisdom as relayed at the recent Weekend of Horrors convention (thanks
go out to Amelia's brother for recalling this quote word-for-word):
- John Carpenter, 14 May 11, Los Angeles
Well said, sir, well said. In other news, I couldn't wait for evening to set in so I could take some more pictures of the NECA figures in what I'm calling my "NECA @ Night" series. Unfortunately, my glue job on the Classic Predator doesn't hold up under any sort of stress, so I'm pretty much stuck with his right forearm being extended in every shot. So sad. Anyway, here are the pictures. A few of them are close to being redundant, except for the lighting. I just couldn't choose one over the other in such cases, and so I'll leave it to my visitors to decide which ones they like best. Let me know what you think.
Friday, 29 July 11
A little bundle of joy arrived yesterday in the form of the new NECA Predator Series 3 collection, featuring the Classic Masked Predator, the Elder, and the Predator Hound (which I don't care much for). Well, about an hour ago I took my Classic Predator out of the box and tried to flex his right forearm. D'oh! The arm just broke off, wtf?? Does NECA have a replacement program when such a thing happens? I didn't man-handle the arm at all, I just slightly bent it along its natural range of motion and it broke.
I just used some JB Weld to re-attach the severed forearm and took some pics of him and the Elder outside. Right now the arm is holding, but due to the tight spot where I had to re-glue the joint, I'm not certain that I didn't accidentally glue more than just the joint together. I won't try and move it until tomorrow evening though, so I'm just going to have to worry about that later. Perhaps I can find a tiny metal rod to insert in the joint to hold it together if the glue won't work? On the other hand, my dad swears by JB Weld and thinks it can fix almost anything. We'll see. Anyway, enjoy the pics here.
Saturday, 23 July 11
Thanks to a little
prompting on my part, D-Box coded The Thing this week! I
was amazed at how much of this movie allowed for motion coding. The most
effective motion usage was during the Palmer blood test scene. During some
of the outdoor shots as the snow storm starts hitting the camp, I was a bit
distracted at first by the rumbling they coded to simulate being in the storm.
On second thought though, I guess this was actually an effective use of motion
because they were trying to convey the sense of being jostled around a bit by
the heavy wind. I'm also thankful that D-Box coded The Thing
this year as their motion coding artists have started becoming a bit more
aggressive in their motion coding for recent releases, versus some of their
codings from years past which tended to be on the more conservative side.
Saturday, 16 July 11
I added yet another
tip to my Cinema section
Sunday, 10 July 11
I added some more tips to my Cinema section. Direct link here.
In other news, I
screened Aliens for its 25th anniversary last Friday.
While the actual anniversary is not until 18 July, the timing for this screening
was the most ideal for me. What an incredible film, truly ahead of its
time and the new Blu-ray transfer makes the film look almost as if it was made
yesterday. I'm also quite pleased that Aliens came out before the advent
of CGI, as I really feel its practical effects offer a sense of realism that
most CGI implementations just can't touch yet.
Sunday, 3 July 11
I just added an unofficial FAQ about D-Box here. Oh, and I almost forgot to link to this short video I made last month to highlight the T-800's light strobe feature.
Tuesday, 29 June 11
I performed some minor updates to the Tips page. Check it out here.
Sunday, 26 June 11
I just squeezed in a page on Home Theatre Tips, specifically how to make your own Preview Reel. Check it out here.
Saturday, 25 June 11
Last night I hosted
a Terminator 2: Judgment Day 20th Anniversary movie night. While the
actually anniversary is not until next Sunday, the date was close enough that it
felt appropriate to screen a movie that remains one of the most influential ever
in terms of getting me so deeply interested in movies and filmmaking. I
still remember my mother taking me to see it nine times (!) in the theater back
during that summer of '91, along with collecting tons of newspaper & magazine
clippings about the film. I just couldn't get enough of the movie.
Last night also marked the first time that I experienced T2 with D-Box.
The D-Box coding was great and ended up making a beloved movie even better.
My hat's off again to the team at D-Box!
Saturday, 18 June 11
It's been a good
week for movies in my house. A couple of nights ago, I watched the 1980s classic
Manhunter for the upteenth time. However, for this go around I
watched it in high definition which revealed a lot of picture detail that I had
been missing out on during previous visits. Based on my memory, it seems
that this particular version included a slightly modified scene of Graham
talking about how the Tooth Fairy was abused a kid and needed to be put down for
his crimes. Perhaps that was in the previous versions on DVD, but I simply
don't remember it. If it is in fact a recent addition for the Blu-ray
release, I'm not sure if it was even necessary.
Saturday, 11 June 11 UPDATE
The T-800 Endoskeleton pictures are up here.
Saturday, 11 June 11
I have to face the
facts. Most people come onto this site not to see pictures of me, read my
praises for D-Box, or to hear about the fun I'm having around the world.
Yes, my friends, most people visit my site for one reason and one reason only:
to look at all the great pics I've taken at the Heckler & Koch factory in
Germany. So, to please my insatiable audience, I'm including some
never-before-seen shots of my most recent visit to the factory back in 2008.
Sunday, 5 June 11
To make this site pay for itself, I just added an AmazonAssociates link to some of my highly-trafficked pages. If you access Amazon through one of my links and actually buy something, I get a small commission out of the deal.
Tuesday, 31 May 11
Just a minor update
today for maintenance purposes, as it seems some older links on the Pictures
page led to photo pages that would not display properly outside of Internet
Explorer browsers. This problem has now been rectified.
Sunday, 29 May 11
As I would rather do anything but study this weekend, I started playing around with my camera's telephoto lens using the bar's "Puppet Theatre" as test subjects. I shot several pics of the McFarlane Toys T-800, NECA Aliens-version Alien, McFarlane Toys Corporal Hicks (original and variant parts combined), and my favorite, McFarlane Toys Alien vs. Predator diorama. Results are here.
Saturday, 28 May 11
My old buddy from high school, Ross, was recently in town and we made our way to the latest Weekend of Horrors during his trip. I uploaded some pictures from the recent Weekend of Horrors convention here. It was a lot of fun getting to meet so many of my favorite genre actors and directors, like Lance Henriksen, Denice Duff, Austin Stoker, Ted Nicolaou, even Ernest Borgnine! It was also surreal when we got to sit down and chat for a bit with John Carpenter. John Carpenter, as some of you may know, directed my all time favorite horror film, The Thing. He told me and Ross that he's currently tweaking a script about the Bloody Benders from from the late 1800s. You can read about the real family here. It sounded like he might have a solid film on his hands if it ever gets off of the page.
In other news, we were left nearly speechless when we unexpectedly encountered Hostel director & Inglourious Basterd's Bear Jew, Eli Roth, with Italian horror icon Asia Argento on his arm. I really dig the fact that they both agreed to snap a photo with us. Thank you Asia & Eli!
We had the pleasure of capping of that Saturday night with Ted and Denice. They are truly friendly people and a blast to hang around. I could have never guessed when I was a young teenager watching the Subspecies films that one day I'd be having a drink with the lead actress and the director. Very cool.
As for Ross, it was great having him in town, as this man loves him some horror movies and we must have put down a half-dozen during his stay. I got a kick out of showing him several of the European horror films I've had the pleasure of finding during my travels. Hopefully he'll be able to make it out here again as I've got plenty more films awaiting his introduction.
.Well, that's it for now.
Sunday, 10 April 11
So I watched Tron:
Legacy for the second time ever Friday evening and I enjoyed it a lot more than
when I saw it in the theater back in December. I think that my increased
enjoyment of the film had little to do with the D-Box motion coding that I
finally got to experience and more to do with the fact that I appreciated the
story and characters to a greater degree this time around. I also became
consciously aware of how much I liked Daft Punk's music for the film and this
made the soundtrack an instant-buy on Saturday morning.
Sunday, 13 February 11
I tried out my old D-VHS copy of The Ring last night because it has motion coding. All I can say is that this film is even more unsettling and terrifying when you add D-Box motion coding to the mix. Seriously, it was very scary experiencing the film in this new way.
Sunday, 16 January 11
I finally made it up
to the Camera 7 cinema in Campbell to check out a film (The Green Hornet)
featuring 3-D and a commercial D-Box installation. The D-Box single-seat
experience was almost the same as what I can experience on my 3-seater, although
it seemed like it had slightly more maneuverability or sway from side-to-side.
Perhaps this is due to the seat's smaller base vs. the larger base of a 3-seat
Sunday, 9 January 11
I just thought I
would make a few comments about a few new Blu-rays with D-Box (www.d-box.com) motion codes.
Thursday, 30 December 10
So I was watching the third-rate cable TV channel Chiller TV the other day (who wants to watch edited horror films with commercials in 2010?) only because they were having a special on the top ten horror films of the decade. This sparked my interest to put another post on my site because I feel that while Chiller TV got their number one pick of the decade right, they overlooked some great horror films of the last ten years. I think Chiller TV neglected to mention some of the films I'm listing below simply because they were not produced by big-name, American studios, which serves to further undermine any credibility the channel possesses in the horror realm. So, here's my take at the TOP TEN TWENTY-ONE HORROR FILMS OF THE 21st CENTURY as of Dec 2010:
Honorable Mention: Scary Movie
Tuesday, 5 October 10
I've been busy these last few months. Taught myself some XCode so I could make my first iPhone app. Very cool! I also managed to squeeze in a few national rifle matches through the summer. Anyway, at long last, I'm updating the pictures pages with some new stuff. Enjoy!
On an unrelated note, I was at the Starbucks at the Honolulu airport last Tuesday. When I went to the counter and ordered just a plain coffee, the barista looked at the other barista and asked, "Do we have coffee?" I'm NOT kidding.
Saturday, 8 May 10
Out of nostalgia I just posted pictures from my first home cinema outside of college when I was living in Colorado. Direct link here.
Sunday, 11 Apr 10
just updated my Cinema page with the latest equipment
breakdown along with pics of my new home cinema. I'm also tweaked the site
a bit to make it a little bit easier to manage (and hopefully this will enable
me to update it more often).
Sunday, 9 Nov 09
Monday, 22 Sep 08
Back with a quick update in Pictures. Also, I forgot to mention last time that I recently played an extra in a upcoming feature film with Matt Damon. It's called Green Zone and it should be out by next year. It was an amazing experience in Morocco and I am so fortunate to have experienced top-rate filmmaking first hand.
I'm alive, I promise! I've done more traveling in the last six months than I have in my entire life. I even had a chance to play a military guy in a new movie!! I'm keeping mum on the name of the film until it comes out, but when it does rest assured I'll let you know! I saw the Spanish horror film [Rec] last night. Scary stuff! I highly recommend that one. It's like Blair Witch Project meets 28 Weeks Later.
Happy New Year! I finally got off my butt and updated my DVD collection to include all of my new Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs. I also filtered out the titles that I have either sold or still have in D-VHS. You can check out the updated collection here.
One quick thought: in Belgium, drink manufacturers often label their six-packs as "5+1 Gratis" or, in English, "5+1 Free." What an insulting marketing concept! Instead of just giving you an international standard six-pack, the manufacturer wants you to think you're getting added value by getting a free drink when you buy five. However, who in the world sells a five-bottle pack of drinks? I'll tell you who: NO ONE! This concept is like selling a bottle of laundry detergent with a label saying: "Laundry Detergent Actually Inside Bottle - FREE!" Duh!
My new home cinema is finally finished! It's been four months in the making, but now it is ready for action. I had my first official movie night on Halloween, where I showed Alien: The Director's Cut on DVHS. Right now, I'm cutting through numerous titles that I haven't watched in years, including the Indiana Jones Trilogy and The 'Burbs, to name a few. It's really a treat to see old favorites shown on a 106" screen as you really notice detail and picture information that normally gets lost on a smaller screen. Frankly, I have very little reason to go to a "real" theatre anymore, as my projector has a better contrast ratio than nearly all commercial projectors (over 9500:1 versus approximately 250:1). Moreover, I can stop the film at any time and I don't have to deal with annoying theatregoers.
This time around, I've updated my Pictures page with photos of a Halloween party I recently attended. Also, I found time to update my Cinema page with info and pix of the new setup. Click on the picture below to see the theatre's latest incarnation. Enjoy!
I caught NIN last Saturday in Konstanz. What a show! Check out these clips (here, here, & here) to get a taste of what I saw. In short, the concert promoter (KOKO, I think) basically lied to NIN and didn't provide them with the right power source to run their light show. Trent was thoroughly pissed off about the situation, and things came to a head near the end of the show when some moron yelled something at him about 10-20 seconds into "Hurt." Trent stopped the song and pushed his keyboard to the ground and walked off stage temporarily. He then came back and the band kicked right into "The Hand That Feeds," although Trent started off straight into the refrain as opposed to the normal intro. Here's a clip of that particular incident. On a lighter note, I should mention that I finally got to hear "Dead Souls" live, which pretty much made the whole trip worthwhile.
I saw the European release of Planet Terror the other night. It had a few scenes/shots added here and there, but nowhere near as many additions as the European release of Death Proof a couple months back. While both films are enjoyable in their own way, I really think that seeing the extended version of Death Proof is more preferable than seeing the truncated version contained in the Grindhouse double-feature.
In other news... my home theatre is going through some significant changes. My all-new state-of-the-art cinema should be up and running by October. I'll update my Cinema page appropriately when it's all ready.
By the way, I updated my Pictures page with photos from my trip to Normandy last year.
Nothing much to report as of late, however I implore you to check out Ann Coulter's column from 18 Apr 07 as it's a good read.
I've seen Grindhouse (twice, actually), and I must say that it's definitely not for everyone. However, if you like or are at least amused by campy, 70s exploitation cinema, you will find this one fun. I enjoyed it, but I think I liked it more so on the second viewing (this holds true especially with Death Proof).
Speaking of Death Proof, Zoë Bell is an absolutely incredible stuntwoman! The stunts she performs in the last 30 minutes of this movie are perhaps the best ever committed to celluloid. Bravo!
By chance, I saw Fracture the other weekend. It held my interest, but I found the ending legally absurd.
Last but certainly not least, I finally got to see Hot Fuzz. Hot Fuzz rocks! It's a British comedy, but its jokes are pretty much universally understood and quite funny. I think this one will definitely make my top ten movies of 2007.
As far as the video front, I've watched Babel and Carlito's Way. Babel was entertaining, but I'm not really sure what it was about. Carlito's Way was pretty darn good, and the way that De Palma made this one look & feel kept making me think that it was actually made in the 1970s, as opposed to 1993.
The next Spidey movie opens next week. I'm not overly excited about this one, but you can count on me being out to see it.
Btw, The Shield is off and running full speed this season, and Lost has been redeeming itself lately. On the other hand, I consider the jury still out on 24 (but things aren't looking good).
Just a quick note to say that I did manage to see Blades of Glory today. I loved it like a fat man loves ice cream! One of those rare comedies in recent years that doesn't use up all of its good jokes in the trailers. Thus far, this film ranks up there with 300 as one of my must-see films of 2007. In fact, while I'm thinking about it, here's a brief breakdown of my thoughts on the films I've seen this year in the theatre...
Smokin' Aces - Ok film, but the ending sucked the life out of it.
Hannibal - OK.
Pan's Labyrinth - Entertaining and unique, truly an adult fairy tale.
Reno 911!: Miami - Way better than I thought it would be, and the motel room scene is genius.
Ghost Rider - OK flick. Nic Cage plays the character in very captivating way.
Zodiac - Didn't like it. My least favorite David Fincher film.
300 - Wow!
Blades of Glory - The first great comedy of 2007, hopefully not the only one.
300 is the first film I've seen this year, and probably the first in a long while, that delivered everything I thought it would. It is a feast for the eyes and a very fun film overall. I especially liked the "modernized" dialogue used in certain spots, even though this is something I would normally abhor. What can I say? Everything about the film works and works well. I can't wait for this one to come out on HD-DVD.
I finally watched De Zaak Alzheimer (a.k.a. - Memory of a Killer) the other day and I thought it was a pretty good film. I would seriously recommend it to anyone who likes crime/mystery films. One question though, am I the only one who thinks lead actor Koen De Bouw looks like a Belgian Christian Bale? I think those dudes could be twin brothers.
Since I'm on an entertainment news kick, I'd thought I'd say that the current seasons of 24 and Lost really aren't cutting it for me. I mean, they're entertaining and all, but the storylines just aren't as good as they used to be. Almost every episode of 24 now is clearly demonstrating its soap opera underpinnings, and it really seems like every "twist" is just a rehash of concepts used in previous seasons.
Lost has had a few good episodes this season (I really liked the Desmond episode and this week's mystery deaths episode), but it's just not maintaining that level of creepiness that it used to hold for me. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that we finally know more about the Others. I guess once a major mystery starts unraveling, the truth behind it is never as exciting as the journey to reach it.
With that said, I'm crossing my fingers that the new season of The Shield (which starts next week) will redeem my faith in TV shows.
By the way, I saw Wild Hogs tonight. I'm considering suing the producers for stealing over 90 minutes of my life.
Last but not least, I recently traveled to Orlando, Florida and went to Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure. What an awesome place for a movie buff! Thanks to the Express Pass (which is COMPLETELY worth the extra $50), I was able to see all of the attractions and ride all of the rides I wanted to in a single day. The Shrek 4-D attraction and the Jurassic Park attraction were some of my favorites. Oh, and even though it's an older attraction, it was fun to finally see the Jaws ride in person. I'll definitely visit Orlando again some day.
Oh, are you searching for the truth behind all of these global warming horror stories? Then read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism.
I caught the new Zodiac movie last night. The overall story was interesting, but I didn't particularly care much for the movie or its characters. Also, I think there's something about Mark Ruffalo that just rubs me wrong.
What rubbed me worse is that I couldn't figure out if I was in a movie theatre or a bus terminal yesterday. Patrons in the theatre kept coming and going, and several random people just decided to enter the theatre at various points mid-way to late through the film (WTF?). Then there was a group of teenage girls that kept running back in and out of the theatre throughout the entire movie, I guess to bum money off their parents who happened to be, ahem, watching the film. Oh, and did I mention the three guys that police had to come in and remove from the theatre? I have no idea what they did, but the girls that I think turned them in deserved to get booted as well (but they didn't).
These particular girls arrived in the theatre about fifteen minutes after the feature had started and proceed to talk loudly, to which someone "politely" told them to "shut the f*ck up!" Throughout the film they caused various interruptions, most annoyingly by continuously using their phone for texting. Despite the small size of a cell phone color LCD screen, it can sure shine to an amazingly distracting degree even at the front of the theatre. I really wanted to go get the cops to remove these losers, but I really hate missing any part of a movie.
I love going to the movies, but I'm getting quite fed up with moviegoers. I'm very glad to have a superb home theatre, and every time I have a bad theatre experience I honestly consider just giving up on the movie-going experience and waiting for new films on disc. However, a (dwindling) part of me still enjoys the unique experience of seeing a first-run film in the theater. However, if this "uniqueness" keeps turning into a twisted showcase of just how rude, inconsiderate and brainless people can be, then it's just not worth the heartache.
In other news, I really like the Convertible Running Glove from 180s.com. I've been looking for something to keep my hands reasonably warm (but not too warm) while running, and these gloves are the solution.
Ok, here's a late New Year's resolution: I promise regular updates for 2007! I really slacked off in 2006, but I'll try and make up for it this year. For this post, I've added some pictures from my trip to Estonia, Finland, and Latvia, and I even threw a page of pics from my recent trip to The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Speaking of the The Citadel, I've always wanted to see it, however after living in Europe for 3 1/2 years, its architecture just doesn't impress me all that much. However, the campus is nice for a visit and I think my pics from there show that I'm finally getting the hang of the Panasonic DMC-F27 super-zoom camera that Doug bought me for Christmas.
I managed to catch the new Hannibal Rising the other night. I went in thinking that it was going to be pretty awful, but it actually wasn't too bad. It's entertaining, to say the least. However, I am a little disappointed and shocked that they didn't fit Anthony Hopkins into it somewhere.
The Jack-Bauer-Power-Hour (aka 24) is in full swing again, and I'm digging it. As with every season, it's full of shockers. I have to hand it to the writers, I never saw the nuke detonation or Curtis' death coming. By the way, there's a good interview with 24 producer Joel Surnow in The New Yorker. Click here to read it. Oh, and check out this list of "facts" about Jack here.
I'm glad that the new season of Lost has started, but the first episode of the year was merely ok.
I recently caught trailers for a few films I really want to see, like Blades of Glory, Sunshine, and Live Free or Die Hard. Regarding the last one in that list, I'm as surprised as anyone that they're making a Die Hard 4, but the trailer makes the idea look cool. Also, I guess we finally get to see Will Smith in I Am Legend later this year. I've seen the Omega Man and read the original Matheson story, so I'm really looking forward to this one. It's just too bad that Arnold Schwarzenegger & Ridley Scott never made this one back in the late 90s like they wanted.
In other ramblings, I'm amazed at how fast the media eats and digests a story. Just over a week ago, the media was covering the Aqua Teen dorks non-stop over their failed ad campaign. A few days later, they set their sights on the NASA astronaut charged with attempted murder. Now, they're all over Anna Nicole Smith. One minute they're all over a story, and then all is forgotten as soon as the next big story breaks. Well, I'm sure at least the astronaut is happy about this fact.
If you haven't heard, Nine Inch Nails is set to release a concert disc on DVD as well as both major HD formats. Soon after in April, NIN are pumping out a new album called, "Year Zero."
Speaking of NIN, is anyone else enjoying the trailers for 300? I read an early review of the flick on Aint It Cool, and it's worth a read just for the new word that Neil Cumpston coined in the review. You can check that out here.
By the way, I also updated my links page with a link to Ann Coulter's homepage. Keep up the good work, Ann!
Wow, it's been a hell of a long time since I last posted. So sorry, but life has been busy as always! 2006 was a great year for me. Here are some of the highlights:
1. I traveled (in chronological order) to Slovenia, Texas, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Alabama, Estonia, Finland, and Latvia. Oh, and I even made time to make it to the beaches of Normandy last June!
2. I fell in love with Borat and I think it's become my all-time favorite comedy.
3. I won a PSP in July at a BBQ raffle. At first, I didn't think much of it. However, now that I've had two or three transatlantic flights under my belt with it in hand, I've grown quite attached to it. The same rings true for my Xbox 360 these days. I am really enjoying Rainbow Six: Las Vegas and Gears of War on it. Also, M$'s smartly-priced HD-DVD add-on is quite a treat.
4. I became a notorious flickerball heckler/player. Those who were there know what I'm talking about ("I got yo BABY!")
5. I survived partying at the infamous 2006 Vier Daagse Marsen in Nijmegen. It might have been too hot to march, but not too hot to party.
6. I finally won an award at work that I highly coveted. This was my third nomination for the award (I lost out on the previous two attempts) and prior to the win, I was starting to feel like Susan Lucci.
7. I was crowned Master of Flanders for 2005! However, I just found out that I will be Master of Flanders for 2006 as well!
That's all for now!
18 May 05 Star Wars Episode III
08 May 05 Sex & The King
05 Feb 05 NSTR
14 Dec 04
21 Nov 04 Another Set of Pix
03 Nov 04 B-U-S-H
27 Oct 04 Getting Close to Halloween
16 Jul 04 HK Visit
08 Jul 04 More Pix
11 Jun 04 Cinema Pix Posted
08 Jun 04 The Cinema is 99% Finished!
25 May 04 Pix from Strasbourg posted
18 May 04 Exclusive Mike Beracz photos!
16 May 04 More pics & finally some stories
I have just returned from seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith presented in Digital Light Projection (DLP). In a word: "AWESOME." However, I'll admit that I took about twenty people with me, and about half of them liked it. I'm not a hardcore Star Wars fan, but I really felt that this film delivered the goods that we've all been waiting for (those of us who have seen the first two episodes and were thirsting for more of the stuff we found in the original trilogy). Kevin Smith was right though, this film IS dark. Then again, it's about Anakin Skywalker's descent into the Dark Side, so it's tone is rightfully so. I will have to see this film again, but it may soon become my favorite of the entire series. What can I say? The special effects are wonderful and the story nicely plugs up some loose ends that have been dangling since Episode IV.
I recommend only seeing this film in DLP. They shot it completely in digital, so it's worth seeing digitally projected. It looks glorious when viewed this way, despite the fact that the Kinepolis theatre I saw it in had a bad pixel on their projector. Doug, what this all means is that you must travel to the Cinemark Legacy in Plano when you want to see it, and make sure to ask for a ticket to the DLP or digital picture version.
Howdy once again! It appears that I ended up in another one of those periods where I was so busy having fun that I neglected to update the site. However, this time it should be well worth the wait as I've just finished uploading numerous pictures from the last few months. Also, I did an update to the Cinema section (finally) featuring the movie nights that I've hosted.
As you can see, I've gone
back to my old ways of letting celebrities take pictures of me. I have to
say that Kim Cattrall is one of the friendliest actresses I've ever met and
Kevin Spacey is a PHENOMENAL actor. I saw Kevin in his National Anthem
play, and the man really made you forget that you were watching a play, he made
it seem so real. This guy deserves every penny he makes as an actor.
I caught Nine Inch Nails at their sold-out show at the Astoria in London on 31 Mar. What an amazing concert! I didn't take any pictures, but I've got a lifetime's worth of memories. I think that their new album is the best CD I've purchased in years. Did you know that you can listen to the entire album online & legally? Check it out by clicking on the NIN logo below:
So, do you want your very own www.thekingofbelgium.com t-shirt as featured in the homepage photo? If so, please send me a request via email. If I get enough inquires, I'll make some available for sale. As you can see below, the front features the web address and the backside says it all, "Hail to the King, baby!"
Last up, did you catch this story floating around the net about the U.S. report on the Italian secret agent shooting in Iraq?
Just a quick update, but it took a lot of time to put together. I have finally posted the story about the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders visit in Trips.
Finally, I've got the pix up of the Cheerleaders event. Story to follow.
Carnivale, shooting a 590 in prone at Bedburg, Brugge, Italian Carnivale, skiing in Garmish, oh, and personally working to get the DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS to come to NPC... it's been a busy few weeks since my last update. I've still got homework to finish, so all I could manage to do tonight was get the pictures up from Carnivale, and give you a taste of things to come from the nice ladies of the DCC. Expect big things on this site soon...
Well, in many countries of the world right now, it's Carnaval! I made it back to Köln last Thursday, but I forgot to bring my camera. No worries though, as I'll have several pictures to share of other Carnaval parties soon.
Last weekend, I had another movie party. This time around the feature was The Big Lebowski. Here's a shot of the attendees:
Ok, the most eye-catching online article of my week can be found here. Here's an excerpt:
Also, just for fun, here's a shot of me on The Goliath at Six Flags Holland last September. The kid near the front row makes me laugh. Cheers!
Did anyone else catch the article last week on the Pentagon's one-time plan to make a Sex Bomb? You can read about it here. Tom Jones' old song could have reached hit status again if this project ever made it off the ground. Oh well.
I went to the FN Herstal factory last Thursday and had a great time. First off, I've been informed that FN is planning to bring a "sporting" version of the P90 to market sometime soon. In addition to checking out the factory and of course seeing the proofing room (which contained some very nice samples of the P90, F2000, and non-lethal FN 303), I also got to manhandle one of two existing prototypes of the 7.62mm version of the SCAR (SCAR-H), and one of ten existing prototypes for the 5.56mm version (SCAR-L). The SCAR, which should really be called the SOFCAR if not for the fact that it doesn't sound as cool, stands for Special Operations Forces Capable Assault Rifle. It's FN's solution to a SOCOM requirement for a new modular small arms weapon system. I found the pix shown below on HKPro.com, and I can confirm that the pictures are accurate. To me, the rifle looks very similar to an FNC, and the barrel and front sight are practically straight off the Minimi (M249). I'm reserving judgment on this rifle versus the XM-8 until I can see a more finalized prototype. If you desire more knowledge about the SCAR, I found this site and this site handy.
Last but not least, Andy wanted everyone to see his stab at auditioning for Master and Commander II. Enjoy!
I just posted pics from Andy's trip in the Pictures section for all to enjoy!
If you're looking forpictures of Andy during his trip here, please email me directly and I will provide you with the links. I haven't added these links to the pictures page yet because it's still a work in progress, but I am more than happy to provide you with a view of its current state.
Today, I added a new area to the trips section with two stories from my father. One story is a reposting of his Memorial Day commentary, and the other is a recent trip report. Doug always writes hunting trip reports, and I'm curious if anyone finds them worth reading on the site. Your feedback is appreciated! BTW, please be sure and read the disclaimer. My dad is a man of his own world, a real Last of the Mohicans type, and his opinions are often times his own and do not always reflect my ideas.
Happy New Year to all! I'm just coming off the tail-end of two weeks of holiday that included having my best friend from the states over again for the ultimate European vacation.
As far as the site is concerned, I finally got my butt together and posted the Rome story in the Trips section, so enjoy.
Ok, to whet your appetite, here's a quick preview of things to come...
I went to Rome over the weekend and had a great time. I just posted pix from the trip, and I promise that I've been working day and night (well, mostly night) to finish my trip report.
I'm still recovering from last night's Christmas Party. What a fun time, but I should have drank that glass of orange juice before going to bed because today is rough. Believe it or not, the location of the party was actually in a cave! Located in Kanne, Belgium, the story behind the cave is that apparently construction crews have been cutting blocks of stone out of there for years to build houses. I guess after enough stone was cut out, someone had the great idea that it would be a fantastic place for parties. Now, if only the people who own this cave knew how cool of a spot it would be for Halloween...
I updated the Pictures page with shots from the party and also from the hike through The Ardennes two weekends ago. Enjoy!
Early Saturday Mornin' Update, 04
Today has been great! Thanks to a Belgian power outage, we got out of work early today. Wahoo! Now I'm getting ready for my massive holiday-themed movie night, where over a dozen people are expected to cram into my theatre to watch Bad Santa and Jackie Brown. It's just about time to tap the Jupiler mini-keg, so this post is going to have to be fast.
Since the dollar has dropped to a whopping $1.33 versus the almighty euro, I thought that this graphic (courtesy of some Czech Republic site that I can't remember) would be appropriate...
Wednesday, 01 Dec 04
Now, quick food for thought.
Why is it that American restaurants can't make fries the Belgian way? It's
not like it's a big secret or anything on how to make Belgian fries. I've
never ate so many fries in my life before coming to Belgium, but they're just so
darn good here.
Friday, 26 Nov 04
Oh, and when I said "real" meal, I didn't mean that Europeans do not eat real food. In fact, I love European foods! What I meant was "real" as in the non-microwavable kind. I'm talking about food made in the oven and/or on the stove! Microwavable food is ok, but nothing beats a true, home cooked meal.
Well, tonight I updated the Trips page finally with a little story about my Nijmegen adventure. Enjoy!
Last but not least, here's a hilarious holiday excerpt from alanamato.com:
Sunday, 21 Nov 04
Anyway, I'm all geared up for getting to eat a "real" meal this week on Thanksgiving. I'd like to wish my American visitors a Happy Thanksgiving!
I updated the Pictures page with photos from the SHAPE ball from last month.
Good evening again. It's been a tumultuous day in U.S. politics, but barring any serious legal challenges, it seems that the U.S. gets to keep President George W. Bush for four more years. I know for some of my European visitors this comes as unwelcome news, but I was seriously worried about the direction that John Kerry would take my country of record. For instance, from a competitive shooting standpoint alone, Kerry has twice voted in the U.S. Senate to end our Civilian Marksmanship Program. If he would have succeeded, this measure would have severely endangered the shooting sports in America, especially with regards to future generations of shooters. Given his track record, one can only imagine what he would do to American gun rights if elected. Even so, the fact is that Bush is not nearly as bad as the media portrays him over here. Remember, it sells more papers to say that Bush is an evil dictator than to say he's doing something right.
Well, I did a quick update to my Pictures page with some photos from my Anschutz trip back in July. I PROMISE that I will post more stories about my adventures soon, I just need to find a little bit more free time. In the meantime, posting pictures is certainly better than posting nothing.
Oh, the movie party on Saturday was great. I had 10 folks show up, so many in fact that I had to quickly come up with "overflow" seating to accommodate everyone. I'll definitely have to squeeze in a couple more movie nights before the year is up.
Last but not least, be sure and check out this link at Yahoo! about a little girl who cannot feel pain and then read this link. Can you draw any staggering conclusions, especially from a military perspective? BTW, Yahoo! hands-down had the best and most accurate election coverage!
Good evening everyone! It's getting close to Halloween, so I figured I'd throw up some festive decorations, in addition to adding some pictures from 300M Nationals. As some of you know very well, each year around Halloween my alter-ego can be spotted at a few lucky discotheques and haunted houses around the world... as The Old Man (click the name for a sneak peak). Well, this year in Belgium will be no different, as The Old Man will be making several appearances around the country. Feel free to get a picture with him if you happen to catch this geezer out and about this season, just be gentle as he is an old man after all.
In other news, if you're on the VIP list, be sure and stop by Saturday night for my annual Halloween Movie Night. I'll be showing the new version of Dawn of the Dead, followed by a more "classic" horror film along the lines of John Carpenter's The Thing or Alien: The Director's Cut (in glorious high definition courtesy of D-VHS).
Don't forget tomorrow morning's (Wednesday night if you're still stateside) Lunar eclipse. The fine folks at NASA claim that you can witness the event around 0423 hrs - 0545 hrs CBT (Cool Belgian Time), that's between 2123 hrs - 2245 hrs in CTT (Cool Texas Time). I think I'm actually going to wake up early for this one.
The King Has Returned! Welcome back to another solid round of posts from yours truly. I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've posted anything. Rest assured, I'm going to stop my debilitating case of procrastination and keep things maintained a little bit better. Since July, a ton of things have happened. A few highlights: I've finally had some real live-fire time with the XM-8, I've been an emcee for the Anniversary Ball at SHAPE, I saw Matt Emmons win the gold in Men's Prone in Athens, and I just ran into a high school friend yesterday at the Powerzone at Vogelweh. Whew!
Today, I updated the pictures page with some new photo sets, and I brought back the photos from Maiefest (edited for content this time, though).
Believe it or not, I just
posted a ton of pictures (minus descriptions) from my four days of partying in
Nijmegen. BTW, for this week's safety & fashion announcement, try not to
cut yourself shaving before a major party.
I just posted four pix from last night's 30 year's of Tongeren Range Dinner.
I added pix from yesterday's visit to the H&K factory. Enjoy! Story to follow...
I added one new picture category and updated the Eley pics page.
Friday, 11 Jun 04
Tonight I did a demo of my theatre for several of the NPC folks. They were blown away. I've finally posted pictures of its current state in the Cinema section.
In other news, I came in 5th during the NPC Fun Run, with a recorded time of 23:43. I recorded 23:38 on my watch, but hey, who's counting. The distance was 5.1 km (although I was told it was really 4.9 km)
Oh, and if you didn't get to read it, here's the link to the special Memorial Day commentary by my father.
Tuesday, 08 Jun 04
The step light that I've been waiting for has finally arrived. Tonight, the Dutch Hammer and myself will do a little wire trimming in the Cinema room and then it will be complete. I plan to have a massive party on Friday to commemorate this project that has been 7 months in the making.
Tomorrow you can catch me doing the NPC Fun Run. The Fun Run brings in people from all around the region, and I plan to beat them all senseless (well, in my age group, anyway). Did I mention that I scored the highest physical fitness score out of all of the Americans at NPC? : )
Tuesday, 25 May 04
I put up some pix from the Strasbourg trip. Story coming soon. In the meantime, I'm off to Strasbourg again - this time to kick butt and take names. Ok, maybe not, but I really am going back down there to do a site installation for NPC.
Tuesday, 18 May 04
I finally posted Mike Beracz's pictures from the Polynesian Beer Call. Also, I added a
new story to the Trips section. Enjoy!
Sunday, 16 May 04 (Late Update)
I added more pix and made the Cinema page work. Goodnight.
I updated the pictures page, finally added some reports to the trip section, and fixed some broken links.
Saturday, 15 May 04
Finally, I've done it. I've created my own page that my millions of fans all around the world can enjoy. It's not the prettiest page in the world, and it looks remarkably similar to another site that I like, but nevertheless it works for me. On this site you can find my legendary trip reports, along with pictures of my various exploits in Europe and a preview of my Home Cinema.
Enjoy it and please let me know what you think.
King of Belgium.com
for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 32-bit color
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