Saturday, December 17, 2005


Silly.. Brokeback Mountain has been getting a lot of hype, but guess how many theaters it was in last weekend. 5. Ah, yes, those year-end mini-releases so that the'll be fresh in the mind of Academy voters. Okay, it was probably on more screens than five, since theater counts are done on a multiplex-by-multiplex basis...

Anyway, I saw Syriana over the weekend, which was pretty good. There are many elements of truth to the ideas in the film, though I expected a different kind of movie from the trailer that said "Imagine gasoline $20 at the pump."

There were a lot of respected actors in that movie, so I imagine it was either quite expensive to produce, or they all took a relatively slim paycheck to do it. Well, maybe I just have a higher opinion of most of them than the box office sometimes does.

Watching that movie was a little unusual because there were a number of people speaking Arabic or Farsi in the audience (well, heck, it could have been Hebrew for all I know). Other than that, the main cognitive dissonance for the evening came right at the beginning of the film reel when there was an advertisement for the National Guard...

Hmm. Isn't it amazing that the president is actually admitting things these days? Well, some things.. The administration doesn't say much about secret prisons, but they get pretty talkative about the NSA. Now watch them out an operative of that agency.. Hoo-boy.

Posted by mike at 04:07 PM | Movies , Politics | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Well, I ordered some headphones with my Christmas cash: a Sennheiser HD-280. Sen-who? Yeah, I'd never heard of them either. But apparently they make some of the most lusted-after headphones out there. Their real specialty seems to be "open" headphones where the outside has a bunch of little holes to let air (and sound) in and out. I prefer to block out most outside noise and keep my music to myself rather than bugging whoever is sitting nearby, so I looked at their "closed" options, and that one seemed to come out on top.

I did some hunting on Froogle, and saw that I could have paid about double and gotten something from Beyerdynamic, but I figured I'd be paying enough as it is. Besides, that white velvet on the ear cups just looks a little silly ;-) I also threw out another option or two because the companies in question used separate wires to power the left and right sides. I prefer to just have a single wire going to my head, since it's nice to be able to throw the cord over my shoulder without choking myself.

Well, it might just turn out to be an expensive little bit of folly. My ears can hurt if I have headphones on for 2–3 hours. It's not a volume problem, just the pressure of the enclosure against skin and cartilage. This is why I have monster headphones that encircle my ears rather than press directly against them—I'd be complaining much quicker in that case.. Unfortunately there just doesn't seem to be quite enough clearance in my current headset. Hopefully these new ones will fit nicely—comfort is probably my biggest worry in buying them.

Well, I wrote something. Happy New Year!

Posted by mike at 12:43 AM | Music | Comments (0)