Monday, November 29, 2010

What Happened To The Other 6 Points?

Once in 3rd grade, I got a 96 on my spelling test, highest mark in the class, I was so proud. I brought it home to show my dad, "What happened to the other 4 points?" he says.        FUCK YOU, FUCK. YOU.

Love the Sopranos. Anyway, we had our mid-term exam on Friday, covering everything from the first 3 weeks (Electrical, Charging Systems, Starting Systems, Emissions, Ignition Systems) and I got a 94. Highest mark in the class. Luckily for me, unlike this guy, the reception I got for this mark was a bit better than he got. Which is great, because I don't want to end up in a state hospital with an aging mobster for a friend.

3 more weeks to go now, the last 3 concentrating on diesel fuel systems. It's going to get tougher now. On the flipside, I've gotten 2 interesting calls in the last couple weeks. One from an prospective employer who is going to interview me in a week or so, and one from an ex employer who would like to have me back. Kickass, takes a bit of the pressure off.

It's also been raging cold up here, with snow. It got down to -25C there for a while (-13F for my American friends) and that ... well it sucked. I couldn't regulate the temperature of my feet, and my truck was really not interested in starting in the morning.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We're Through The Looking Glass Here People

 The deeper I get into this course, the more it becomes apparent that any outside activies (or, to apply an analogy from school ie: concentration to lack of = voltage drops across resistors) are going to have to drop to a minimum for me to get the most out of it.


Thankfully, Mr. Rorshach Redemption has provided me with an amazingly helpful study too so far. Some of you may have caught it in his comment in the "School's In" post about using something called Simply Noise. I went and checked it out, and have made excellent use of it so far. With 2 screaming children living up above me (who feel the necessity to scream randomly at the top of their lungs, or randomly drop massively heavy objects on the floor) this has become an amazingly essential tool for me. While listening to music while study, I end up digressing much like I talked about in the last post. Here's an example:

The difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse is that a circuit breaker is a party in the u-s-aaaa, yeahheahhhheaheah it's a party in the u-s-aaaa!!!
This is in my brain

 Not entirely productive or helpful, and sure does make for some interesting answers during next mornings quiz. Simply Noise effectively blocks out screaming kids, catchy tunes, and any other outside noise and has allowed me to concentrate and retain more. Thanks for that, sir.

In any case, posts are going to be few and far between from me. I'll do my best to update where I can (so far I'm doing good, the alternator my classmate and I rebuilt today performed great, and daily quizzes have more often than not been in the 90s) but it will be sporadic. Stay frosty, friends.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thought Digression From Boardwalk Empire

It's funny sometimes how my train of thought traverses its way through my head. Yesterday I was watching last weeks episode of Boardwalk Empire. Quite often while watching shows like this (or Breaking Bad, The Wire, etc.) I start thinking about the actors in it; "Wow, that guy's awesome, why haven't I seen him before?" or "He should win an Emmy for this role, I wonder if he ever has?" etc etc etc. So I start researching them as I'm watching the show, checking out wikipedia and imdb for anything interesting. Here's where the digression begins.

I started out by looking up Michael Shannon, who plays Nelson Van Alden the Federal Prohibition agent in Boardwalk Empire. Great actor, plays the role brilliantly. As I'm looking into his filmography, I see he's been in a ton of movies I've seen before: Groundhog Day, Tigerland, Vanilla Sky, Pearl Harbour, 8 Mile, Bad Boys II and more. Wow, quite the list of movies right? I then notice in 2008 he was in a movie called Revolutionary Road, and not only that, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Impressive! My hunches were right, this guy is pretty good. So then I wonder who he was up against in 2008 for that award, so I click the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor link in a new tab.

Before I was able to scroll down the list and see, the superlatives section caught my eye, and I'm looking at who has the most wins, the most nominations, youngest winner etc. So I'm looking at the list of actors with most awards, and Daniel Day-Lewis' name jumps out at me. Right! My favourite actor, wonder what he's been up to lately since There Will Be Blood? New tab!

So now I'm reading about Daniel Day-Lewis. His life, his career, and his long list of eccentricities on and off set while preparing for a role. From wikipedia:
Day-Lewis put his personal version of "method acting" into full use in 1989 with his performance as Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot which won him numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor. During filming, his eccentricities came to the fore, due to his refusal to break character.[4] Playing a severely paralyzed character on screen, off screen Day-Lewis had to be moved around the set in his wheelchair, and crew members would curse at having to lift him over camera and lighting wires, all so that he might gain insight into all aspects of Brown's life, including the embarrassments.[12] He broke two ribs during filming from assuming a hunched-over position in his wheelchair for so many weeks.[16]
Brilliant! Some may call him crazy or eccentric, I call him dedicated and amazing. He gets even more interesting:
Day-Lewis returned to the stage in 1989 to work with Richard Eyre, in Hamlet at the National Theatre, but collapsed in the middle of a scene where the ghost of Hamlet's father first appears to his son.[4] He began sobbing uncontrollably and refused to go back on stage;[17] he was replaced by Ian Charleson before a then-unknown Jeremy Northam finished what little was left of the production's run. One rumour following the incident was that Day-Lewis had seen the ghost of his own father, although the incident was officially attributed to exhaustion.[4][7] He confirmed on the British celebrity chat show Parkinson, that this rumour was true.[18] He has not appeared on stage since.[18]
I think that would keep me off stage also. It seems that for every role he chooses, he goes all out to actually become the subject. 

For Last of the Mohicans:

In 1992, three years after his Oscar win, The Last of the Mohicans was released. Day-Lewis's character research for this film was well-publicized; he reportedly underwent rigorous weight training and learned to live off the land and forest where his character lived, camping, hunting and fishing.[4] He even carried a long rifle at all times during filming in order to remain in character and learned how to skin animals.[4][19]
For In the Name of the Father:
 He returned to work with Jim Sheridan on In the Name of the Father, in which he played Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four who were wrongfully convicted of a bombing carried out by the Provisional IRA. He lost a substantial amount of weight for the part, kept his Northern Irish accent on and off the set for the entire shooting schedule, and spent stretches of time in a prison cell.[19] He also insisted that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him.[19] The film earned him his second Academy Award nomination, his third BAFTA nomination, and his second Golden Globe nomination.
For Gangs of New York:

After a five-year absence from filming, Day-Lewis returned to act in multiple Academy Award-nominated films such as Gangs of New York, a film directed by Martin Scorsese (with whom he had worked on The Age of Innocence) and produced by Harvey Weinstein. In his role as the villain gang leader "Bill the Butcher", he starred along with Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Bill's young protegé. He began his lengthy, self-disciplined process by taking lessons as an apprentice butcher, and while filming, he was never out of character between takes (including keeping his character's New York accent).[4] At one point during filming, having been diagnosed with pneumonia, he refused to wear a warmer coat or to take treatment because it was not in keeping with the period; however, he was eventually persuaded to seek medical treatment.[23] His performance in Gangs of New York earned him his third Academy Award nomination and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
Which leads me to the part where I was reading about his portrayal of Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood.
In 2007, Day-Lewis appeared in director Paul Thomas Anderson's loose adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, titled There Will Be Blood.[25] Day-Lewis received the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role - Motion Picture (which he dedicated to Heath Ledger, saying that he was inspired by Ledger's acting and calling the actor's performance in Brokeback Mountain "unique, perfect."[26][27]) and a variety of film critics circle awards for the role. 
From there, I went to see if youtube had the video of his award win, and it did. I watched it, and was amazed at how humble and gracious the man is.

Truly one of the greatest actors of our time, if not the greatest period. Check out his filmography, and next to most films there is a long long list of awards or nominations.

The last picture he was in was Nine, a Rob Marshall film. I can't find anything on what he may be working on now, but if his past is any indication, it will be another couple years before we see another. I can wait.

Who do you guys think is the greatest actor of our time and/or, who is your favourite?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Today we remember those who paid so bravely the ultimate price for our rights and freedoms. Lest we forget their courage, sacrifice and honour. Today, take a moment and think about everything we have, and of those who fought so that it could be.

Monday, November 8, 2010

School's In

I made it up here okay on Sunday. I left home at about 12:30, made 2 stops along the way to get a coffee for the drive, and was at my friends place around 4:45. Not a bad haul considering the stops along the way. Traffic was almost nothing after I left the Lower Mainland and the mountain highway weather co-operated nicely, considering this is getting to be the time of year when the Coquihalla can become buried in feet of snow and shut down. It's comin, though. Looking forward to the drive home in 6 weeks.

Today was our first day in class. Mostly a set up day, get to know the other 15 guys in the class, go over safety, rules, books, course vectoring etc. That took up the first half of the class, and at lunch I went to the bookstore and grabbed the texts I needed that I didn't already have. $245 later, we went over what I was talking about before on basic electrical (atoms, electrons, neutrons, circuits etc) to refresh. The instructor we have is great, extremely knowledgeable, and personable. I had him for my level 2 class.We began the class with 2 tests; one on stuff we've already learned in previous years to see how well we're remembering that, and one on a myriad of electrical concepts to see how much we need to learn. I pass both, most people (so far as the mood seemed) didn't.

We were off at 3:30, and when I got back to home base I did my homework. 51 pages of reading plus 45 questions. No rest for the wicked, I guess. I try to do the reading and homework as soon as I get home, to keep what we did in class fresh in the mind and help hammer home the formulas and theory.

How do you guys study while at school? Any tips? What works for you? I'll end with a few pics from the drive.

 Leaving Chilliwack.

 Just outside of Hope.

 Oh good, the highway is open.

 On the Coquihalla.

 Just outside of Merritt.

 Entering Kamloops.

Success! In Kamloops.

Friday, November 5, 2010

'127 Hours' Causes Fainting, Vomiting, Seizures

Sounds like my kind of movie...

Danny Boyle's new film about rock climber Aron Ralston, the fellow who had to amputate his own arm after being trapped by a boulder, seems to be causing people some ah, issues, shall we say.


The official word from Fox Searchlight is “No” — the epidemic of fainting, seizures and other visceral physical reactions to the amputation scene in 127 Hours is not a studio-engineered publicity stunt. Nor does the studio intend to capitalize on it, according to co-president Stephen Gilula: “I would prefer that people not pass out; it’s not a plus. […] We don’t see a particular publicity value in it.” Noble? Sure. Tasteful? Always. Honest? Let’s check the medical history.

Sept. 4 — Telluride Film Festival
Two separate reports had one person fainting at the film’s world premiere, while the official accounting from Searchlight counted “an older gentleman [who] was light-headed at the first screening” and, at the second screening, a ” young woman (maybe 19 or 20) who had a panic attack. Paramedics attended to both people.” Anne Thompson’s fest correspondent Meredith Brody said she was reminded “of the old days when people were vomiting in the lobby during The Exorcist.”

Sept. 13 — Toronto Film Festival
“The first public screening of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours had three faintings and one seizure,” wrote Wrap contributor John Foote. According to a fest volunteer, the audience at the Sept. 14 screening “was made of sterner stuff than those from yesterday” — this despite Foote noting, “I cannot remember a reaction to a film like this in a very long time, perhaps not since The Exorcist sent audiences scurrying for the doors (though much of that was later said to be a publicity stunt).” You don’t say.

Oct. 15 — Private screening, Pixar Theater
Nikki Finke reported that two people passed out during a screening hosted by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich. Both were “declared fine” by paramedics. One of Finke’s commenters put the fainting tally at four — “and these are people who work on movies!”

Oct. 16 — Mill Valley Film Festival
According to a report last weekend by John Horn in the LAT, one viewer fainted during 127 HoursMVFF premiere. (No individual reports from the scene corroborate this.) “Such fainting spells aren’t unprecedented in Hollywood, though they’ve been much more commonly caused by horror movies like The Exorcist and Alien,” Horn added.

Oct. 19 — Special screening, Museum of Modern Art
Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter hosted director Danny Boyle, actor James Franco and climber Aron Ralston for a Q&A, prior to which one viewer reportedly fainted.

Oct. 23 — Private Producers Guild screening, Hollywood
Also cited by Horn, who spoke with a woman who was treated by paramedics who’d originally been called to tend to a viewer’s seizure. “I have never had, even remotely, an experience like this,” the woman told Horn. “I’m a television producer. I know this stuff is not real.” Another flummoxed Hollywood pro! Just like the people at Pixar! Sounds like someone’s bulking up for Academy consideration. Meanwhile, a Page Six commenter put the total tally of affected viewers at the screening as high as three.

Unknown date — Research screening, Huntington Beach
One fainting, according to Horn, although “the studio and test screening company Screen Engine said that the […] casualty returned to the theater to give the movie a grade of ‘excellent’”

Oct. 28 — London Film Festival
A report in The Sun claimed that “[h]orrified film fans threw up and fainted at the premiere of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle’s shocking new movie,” which closed the London Film Festival last week. The bad news: As you might expect from The Sun, the specific number and nature of the cases was not determined. There is this, though: “Boyle looked on as paramedics treated fans struggling to cope with gruesome scenes.” And the person sitting near Daily Mail reviewer Chris Tookey “left just after the most gruesome bit and never came back,” apparently rebuking “the most harrowing bone-breaking and amputation scene in the history of cinema.”

Nov. 3 — Los Angeles premiere
A female filmgoer suffered a seizure relatively early during the film — well before Franco’s character amputates his arm with a dull penknife. Paramedics arrived and, in fact, the movie continued screening through the event. Per the LAT’s Steven Zeitchik:
At the screening’s conclusion, director Danny Boyle rose and said the incident was the result of a diabetic condition, and that it was the first time the woman, who appeared to be in her 20s, had had such an episode since she was 5 years old. Boyle assured the audience that she had been taken to Cedars-Sinai medical center and was doing well, adding that “she said it had nothing to do with the movie.” A Fox Searchlight executive later echoed that account.

Anyone Willing To Buy This For Me?

I would really like to own this. Damn my not living in the US. Real Fossilized Dino Poop

Foto Friday

Let's make it a tradition that every Friday my post will be a small amount of chatter with more pics. Because who wants to work/think on a Friday? That's right, lots of people. But I'm not one of them.

I had to go by the place that laid me off today to pick up my steel toed boots and some books I had in my toolbox that I'll need for school. I asked how everything was going, and the general consensus seemed to be "meh, same ole same ole." That's nice to hear. I had sincerely hoped that everything had done a 180 and become insanely the best place to work ever. No such hope. At least they've provided me with a nice spot to park my monster tool box for the time being, for that I can be grateful.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5 More Days

Morning folks. So it's only 5 more days for me before I pack up some things and head up into the interior of BC for school. I'm very excited about it, probably more than normal since I've been at home since September. It's about a 4 hour drive from where I live, and I stay with a friend of mine who gives up a room for me to squat in while I'm there.

It's awesome because I can concentrate on my work and study a lot without too many outside distractions. There are a few of course, but I mainly stay on track. It's a little different this time around for me personally; the last two times I went up there for school I had my employer paying for it and giving me my wage. This time it's all on me. I guess there's a bit more incentive this year to do really well then? Make the most out of the money? Luckily the government should be helping me out with support payments, due to the economic situation, moving away from home, paying tuition etc. That'll halp.

I finished season 2 of Breaking Bad yesterday. I'm liking this show a lot. Anyone else watch it? What shows can you recommend for me after I'm done this one?

Also, The Walking Dead was awesome. Looking VERY forward to the rest of this series. Loved the first episode.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Pics

Here are our costumes from Halloween. We ended up going over to a friends house with our other friend kmad. He was dressed as a grunge character, we dubbed him Chris Cornell. He spent the night being sad and angsty about most things, including the rain, as it tortured his soul.

This is me. I was a dead. Basically re-used the costume from last year to get more legs out of it. Suit was a prime find at the Salvation Army. $12! We made it into a tux type deal. Wife did the make-up, I did the blood.

 While we were walking downtown to a bus stop, I was stopped a few times for pictures with people who didn't speak english. Cool!

 Wife went as Cleopatra. Her dress looked great (a recycle from last year also, minus the amounts of blood) and her makeup was great.

Had a fun time this year, hope to maybe get to zomBcon next year :)

What's the best costume you guys saw this year?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Hope your night was fun and safe, and if you waited until today to do something, I hope the same for today. What did everyone do themselves up as?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rant, Then Pictures!

I'm very glad I'll be leaving for school in just over a week, and not have to think about looking for a job right now. Even more glad that on the back end of school I'll be more desirable to employ. Lately I've been getting very annoyed however, and it goes back to what I was talking about before.

Even though I'm not actively searching out a position right now, I still browse craigslist and Canada Job Bank daily to see what's being posted, in case I miss any possible opportunities. Well, there are 2 companies who continue to pop up in these ads. One of them is a company I had an interview at. They never got back to me to say why I didn't get the job, but the general feeling (based on a comment by the man I was interviewing with) was that it was because I was still a mid level apprentice. What grinds my gears though, is that they still continue to post for a position there, and the ad states that they want someone with 2 years to less than 3 years experience. How is it possible to have a journeyman with 2 years to less than 3 years experience? I have 5 years experience so far. Aggravating, to say the least. I feel like applying there when I'm done school, then ignoring them. Immature? Yes. Pics!

These are a couple of the shots I got while we were at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.

He is their favourite guy. You can see it in their faces.

 Snow leopard cub, can't remember how old they were, but this one was hunting his sibling who had the soccer ball.

Bengal Tiger.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Mouthwash Incident

 The other night, my wife and I were enjoying a nice bottle of cheap wine and chatting. As it grew late, and the wine disappeared, my wife decided to use my mouthwash before bed. I keep it on the top shelf in the bathroom (no real reason, it just fits up there) and she couldn't reach it. I went it to take it down for her, and watched in horror as she popped the cap off and swigged right from the bottle.

I screamed in horror "YOU FREE POUR MOUTHWASH? You can't do that! You have to measure it!" This was probably not the best thing to exclaim to somebody with a mouth full of liquid, in fact, you should never exclaim anything at anyone with a mouthfull of liquid. Let's make that a rule. Anyway, she started to giggle as she swished it around in her mouth. I decided it was best if I left the area, partly to decompress the humour of the situation but also to protect myself. But I had to at least hang around. After a few seconds, her laughter slowed and ceased. We were in the clear.

Or so I thought.

About 5 seconds after stopping laughing, apparently it all came crashing back, because that's exactly what the mouthwash did; all over my shelf, clean toilet, and finally floor. She busted out laughing, asking me what the hell free pouring mouthwash is exactly. I explained to her that the cap has marks inside it to accurately measure out how much you should have in your mouth, and that it's irresponsible to just ignore it and go right from the bottle. Well she couldn't stop laughing, and I couldn't seem to get my point across.

So I put it to you, fellow bloggies. Do you measure out in the cap, or do you chug from the bottle? Side question, do you count to 30 in your head and then spit, or just free time it?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun Days Ahead

Good Morning everyone. I apologize for the lack of posting lately. I've been fairly busy lately prepping for school (now only a week and a half away, wee) and taking care of some things around the homestead. Hope I didn't miss too much.

So it's Halloween in a few days. I love this time of year. We all get to indulge a little and go back to our youths and play dress up, eat poorly, and drink up a storm! Enough about my toddler years, though. Halloween had a revival for me in the last couple years. I didn't really do a whole lot for it for a long time, but last year brought me back. Last year Halloween fell on a Saturday which was perfect, and playing in Vancouver at that time was Evil Dead: The Musical. We managed to get tickets for the early show Halloween night, great seats in what was called "the splatter zone." This was an area of about the first 5 rows, where during a blood bath ending to the play itself, blood was sprayed at the audience from the stage, from jets above the stage, and from the actors walking out into the crowd down the aisles. The amount of blood sprayed on the crowd apparently was in the range of about 15 gallons or so per show. Wife and I went dressed up as an unfortunate bride and groom who'd had a bit of a falling out on our honeymoon, ending with me with a screwdriver in my head, and her with gaping neck wounds. We did ourselves up very well, knowing that by the end of the show, our costumes would be 100x better.

Here is where we were sitting, after the show.

 And our completed costumes. As you can see, both our laps got quite a drenching. I actually turned my face upward at one point! Totally awesome.

The show itself was hilarious, we loved it. I would have seen it again if I could. If it's in your area, I highly suggest checking it out. It's a great time. For a list of upcoming shows, check out their website:

Since the show was downtown, we basically just left the theatre and joined the party. Next door to the theatre was a pub, so we went in there and had a few drinks and mingled with other halloween partyers. Then we went outside and just kinda walked around. There were hundreds of people downtown that night on Granville, and the costumes walking around were fantastic. We had our picture taken about a hundred times with people who loved our getup. Great fun. This year won't come close, but we're gonna try!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture Post!

It's a lazy Saturday afternoon, and after last night's hockey game (both watching the Canucks and then playing in my own) I am much too tired to come up with anything interesting to talk about, especially after yesterdays brain breaker. So here are some random pictures for you guys. Enjoy.