16 March 2009

Garden Ramble: Hello 2009

I know, it's been 2009 for a few months now, but garden-wise all I've been doing is praying that my oregano made it through the dark days without giving up the ghost. It has. It's actually looking a LOT happier these days. Some of my houseplants aren't thriving as I'd hoped they would. I split my peace lilly into 2 back in the Fall and it's been an uphill struggle for both parts ever since. My ficus - which hadn't been doing well for awhile - finally lost its last few leaves over the winter. Successfully, though, I've managed not to kill the spider plant I started with babies from my mother-in-law. It actually seems to be thriving.
Given that my cubicle/desk is right next to a giant west-facing window, I have a small garden of very happy plants - as long as I remember to water them. The air in this place is extremely dry and seems to leech moisture right out of the soil.
My indoor gardens have kept me minorly occupied over winter, but I'm getting itchy to hit the dirt out back and out front of the house, to get the petunias potted and the radishes in a row. I want blossoms front and back and veggies ripe on the vine waiting for a quick trip to the dinner table (and not Zoe's stomach). It's almost that time. Some bulbs my father gave me over a year ago finally went into the ground this past fall, and they have sprouted! Hopefully we'll see some flowers on them soon, as we likely would have the tulips I bought if I'd remembered to put them in the ground. I also planned to start seeds inside this winter, but for whatever reason I never got around to it. The best intentions and such. I may just break down and buy seedlings from the local nursery.
All of this in good time, though. This week, friends, as Spring barrels toward us (Friday!), and I have no school work (Spring Break!) and the weather is meant to be nice (weather! - okay, I'm done) I'm going to get the ground prepared. Soil will be turned over, compost/fertilizer will be added, fences will be put up to keep out dogs who think that flower gardens make excellent places to mark territory, and basically I plan to have the framework in place to which we will lovingly add seeds, seedlings, and full-on plants that will grow into a lush and verdant piece of scenery that will be soothing to both eye, nose, and soul.
I'm looking forward to Spring and Summer, my friends. The next ramble will likely regale you (bore you to tears) with tales of plantings. Maybe I'll remember some photos then.

When I am King

Another in my wonderful series describing how I will make an excellent manager of people, things, and money.
This is a brief one. I came across the Ten Secrets of Successful Tech Support today, and wanted to add this to my growing body of tenets and observations. When I am King, I and my staff will employ these techniques and our customers will be happy! Shoot, they're good to follow right now. They're applicable even beyond tech support.

The New iPod Shuffle

To all the "Bloggers" who are lucky enough to get to play with all the new Apple gear that the rest of us actually have to pay for:
Stop hating, Jerks. Even if it's only because you're trying to foment comments to get eyeballs on your advertising, it's getting old.
Negativity is getting old, people.

11 March 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion

You all know I like to take make photos - did you know I like is so much that I do wedding photography? I do. I do more than that, too. I'll shoot birthday parties, bridal showers, party parties; basically events.
When I say "I" I mean "We", as in my aunt, partner, and friend Robyn.

We're talented, friendly, reasonably priced, and (usually) available on short notice.

There are links right in this here web-log that will show you my work as a photographer, both amateur and pro. Please click on them.

Tell your friends, your family, your acquaintances that if they need a photographer, email us! We even do portrait / head shots (on location).


Rob Murray
PhotoNorth Event Photography is Rob Murray and Robyn Miller.

07 March 2009

Rob Watches (the) Watchmen

She was going to drag me to Twilight last night, but a with little luck and a brother-in-law on my side (thank God for Chaz), the three of us went to see Watchmen. I've read the novel, so I knew what to expect coming in. I also knew that I would likely be in close proximity to NERDS.
First things first - this is definitely an R rated movie. It likely pushes the envelope of the R rating. I won't go into too many details, but if you don't like seeing generously proportioned blue-schlong or a tastefully done sex scene between costumed adventurers, then you won't like this movie.
They also use the word "Fuck" in it a few times. I know, right?
Synopses you can get everywhere else on the internet, so I won't carry on with one of those. I will share my impressions:
  • WOW
  • Holy Shit
  • Freakin Awesome
  • How Cool
  • How Clever
  • Nice
That's a good sampling of how I felt.
Moving along, the soundtrack of existing songs was nicely chosen. The songs all trended towards the cliche for me, but it felt like that was intended. After all, Moore was making a similar point when he wrote the novel, so the use of very widely known songs from the mid-late 20th century did a great job of painting mood and feeling with a nice broad brush. Like a 4-color comic book, if you will.
The casting was likewise fantastic. The actors all did top notch jobs, faithful to and fleshing out their previously 2-d characters. I didn't feel like anyone turned in a poor performance. Well, the actor who portrayed Nixon felt a bit TOO charicature for me, but again, I think this was done for effect. If they'd wanted a more faithful to our reality representation, they would have done it.
The camera work didn't make me nauseous and I never felt disoriented. Those are my 2 criteria for "good" camera work.
I did have to sit next to a skinny, bearded, long-haired nerd (who thankful did not have any weird odors) and his buddy. They giggled during the aforementioned sex scene. I wanted to ask them if they'd ever actually been that close to a naked woman that they hadn't paid for (likely they wouldn't do that either, because the stereotype is of the White Knight - obviously those girls need saving! I digress...), but I just sighed quietly to myself and used my Man Power of Selective Hearing to tune them out and get back into the movie. Because after all it was a sex scene.
The NERDS ("basement dwellers" -Chaz) didn't spoil the movie for me, and overall the packed theatre was well behaved. I imagine a 9:51pm showing weeds out most of the idiots.
One weakness that was pointed out was the length. The pacing - such as I am able to speak of such things - did drag a times, but I think this was often when back story was being filled in, or maybe when Doc Manhattan was pontificating. His calm, detached demeanor would be likely boring to anyone who forgets that he is an energy being who comprehends the UNIVERSE.
You saw my impressions above. Go see it. Brace yourself for the slow moments, but if you find yourself getting bored, think about how Doc Manhattan could take out the galaxy at any moment, and pretend that he's thinking about it. Because he probably is.

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