The Challenge of the Dust Collector

I suppose I got it from my father. I’m not talking about my wonderful good looks, nor my nose, but my love of knick-knacks. You know knick-knacks? If you type “knick-knack” into Google you get: “a small worthless object, especially a household ornament,” with wonderful synonyms like: “trinket, novelty, gewgaw, bibelot, ornament, trifle, bauble, gimcrack, curio, tchotchke, memento, souvenir, kickshaw.” My wife simply calls them dust collectors, so I guess, I’m a dust collector, although looking at the synonyms I’m thinking of shifting to calling them bibelot if only because then it sounds fancy.

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Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf

 

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

The more I think about it, the more perfect “Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf” was, especially in the realm of the old-school, and I mean this with all due respect, cheesy, werewolf movie. First there is the title, or at least the “Night of the Lone Wolf” part. Sure there’s the solo werewolf at the start, but by the end there are multiple wolves. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the title and our hero is the lone wolf, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that our main werewolf all of a sudden decided to go on a biting spree and instantly we have a pack of werewolves.

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Believe Me

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:33 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

I know. I read the press release for “Believe Me.” And yes, I know the synopsis mentioned a group of college kids who figured out a great way to make a quick buck, namely by scamming Christians to donating money to their phony-baloney charity, and then said kids would realize the true meaning of being good people. And finally, I know that’s what the movie ends up being about, but I so wanted it to flip directions and be a full parody of Christian fundraising. Instead, yes, our foursome realized the error of their ways and became good people again, until, “I, um.”

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A New Watch Every Few Years?

It’s almost here. It’s almost time. The world, and our lives, is about to change. Why? Because the Apple Watch is almost on sale. Fine, there hasn’t been an official launch date, there is finally an official Apple “Special Event” titled “Spring Forward” that will most likely showcase the watch, and other than some articles about possible pricing, some sightings of it out in the wild, and the general rumors that seem to come around any Apple release, we still don’t know anything official about it except, that, in the world of watches, unlike the watch that you might receive as a graduation gift, an anniversary gift, a birthday, you know, the watch you will cherish for the rest of your life, the Apple Watch will actually have a shelf life. Watches in the past were mechanical, or even if digital maybe you would just need to change a battery, and there are people who still have a wind-up watch handed down for generations. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, is technology, and like all technology has a shelf life.

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He Couldn’t Ring Dem Bells

I found myself in a bell tower. I won’t go into when I found myself in a bell tower because then the story would probably be worse, but there I was. I was led to the door to the bell tower, but we thought the door was locked. The 15-year old in this 47-year old body really wanted to go into the bell tower, but alas, it appeared a little lock was there between normal-ness and adventure. Oh well. Then an opportunity came for me to be by that door again, and low and behold the lock wasn’t really locked, I opened the door and found myself, alone, climbing the stairs. But I was torn. In my head I knew I shouldn’t really be there, the initial stairs were kind of rickety, but I continued to climb. I made it to the first level, looked up the next set of stairs, and somehow continued going up.

Then thoughts entered my head.

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VANish

MPAA Rated – Not rated.
It’s 1:19 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

VANish
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Maiara Walsh, Danny Trejo, Tony Todd, Austin Abke, Bryan Bockbrader, Adam Guthrie
MPAA Rated: Not Rated.
Released By: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Kiddie Movie: Send them to bed. Lots of blod!
Date Movie: If she likes blood-splattering thrillers.
Gratuitous Sex: There is an attempted rape in the van, though it doesn’t turn out too well for the dude.
Gratuitous Violence: Headshots, shotgun blasts, machetes, and a handy little cutting saw help with the blood splatter.
Action: Not really much action.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Emma kicking the crap out of Shane.
Memorable Quote: “What kind of amateur bullshit is this?”
Directed By: Bryan Bockbrader
Extras on the Blu-Ray: The bloopers were decent enough, and I actually liked seeing the alternate endings.

The press release said: “three thugs viciously kidnap a drug cartel boss’ only daughter from her home in broad daylight.” With that I was a little confused at the opening scene of VANish as a dude and his lover were being abducted at night, in the California hills. Now let’s cut to the next scene of two dudes in a van, talking calmly amongst each other as dudes will talk, and I’m wondering where is the third dude? Is this the van? And what happened to those people in the first scene?

Little did I know the importance of the first abduction to the plot of the movie, to be explained during a later scene, and now I was being fully introduced to possibly the dumbest trio of kidnappers that there have ever been in a movie. That’s okay, though, because the trio of dopes really made VANish an entertaining film in the realm of blood-splattering thrillers.

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Out in Less Than One Day

As a Catholic and a Polish dude I was preparing for Lent. Paczki were ordered, and I began pondering the Lenten season. For years we are always told we should give something up until Easter, although the rules were always a little shady as sometimes we were told we were able to have on Sundays what we gave up, other times there was the spirit of “fasting” for the entire season. One year I did great, giving up adding sweetener, both artificial and natural, into things, specifically my iced tea and coffee. Somehow I made it through the season although I did pick up the diet soda after Easter. This season, though, I had a plan. I was going to add some things which I know kind of goes against the theory of Lent, but I felt trying to consistently do my yoga, meditation, and exercising for the season would make me a better person, but on the giving up something I went back to the old standard, giving up soda.

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One Staple of College I Seem to Suck At

I have an Aerospace Engineering degree from Illinois Institute of Technology, I have made some iPhone apps, I can, or at least used to be able to play the violin, and I can cook an awesome steak, but why is it when it comes to the staple of college students everywhere, something I never actually made when I was in college, I find that I somehow suck at making Maruchan’s Ramen Noodle Soup. The discovery came a little while back when, at the request of my wife when she wasn’t feeling well, she requested I make her a bowl of soup. My immediate thought was some Lipton Cup-o-Soup, but for her she wanted Ramen Noodles.

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Lassie, Did Timmy Fall in the Well?

It happened the other day. There was some candy on the counter, a bag of candy as it would be, and I was pretty sure my wife wasn’t keeping count of the number of pieces in the bag. She wasn’t home yet, but Milo was there. He did his normal greeting of lying in his bed, looking towards the door as I opened it, had a gaze of “Do I know you?”, and as I came a little closer he lifted his head a little higher, let his nose do some sniffing, and, when finally realizing it was me, he spun around a little bit then headed down to his litter box to do his business.

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Table Cleaning and You

This past weekend I came to fully realize that I married into a family of table cleaners. Now I’m not just talking a family of table straighten-uppers, but if you gave them a cleaning rag as part of the meal you could probably just set the table right after they left and it would be cleaner than the job you would do as a waiter/waitress/buss boy/buss girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Mr. Slob when it comes to going out to eat or being at a relatives for a holiday dinner. When I’m done with my meal I will take my plate, and offer to take a plate or two when I’m at a family gathering, and if I’m at a restaurant I will try to neaten up my area, leaving things in a manner kind of nice for the wait staff to be able to clean, but, especially at a restaurant, I’m not trying to make the table ready for the next customer. My in-law family, however, is a server’s dream because as the meal is done there they are stacking plates, collecting silverware, tidying up the area, and never was it more prevalent than at the funeral luncheon I was at over the weekend.

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