The Flu is Gone and I’ve Been Doing Some Reviewin’.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Well I think I’ve finally kicked the flu bug that has been tormenting me for
about a week, and thankfully, just in time for tonight’s return of "The
Sopranos.
"  I’ve been doing my best to stay away from spoilers about
the episode on the internet, so, for the most part, I’m looking to be
entertained by what many are saying is a great return for the series. 
Sure, it’s been a while since the last episode, and I know it will take a little
bit to get back up to speed with who is who and what is what, but sorry
"Desperate Housewives," when the TiVo decision is between Tony or Susan, at
least there’s a good chance Tony will find some ladies who will get naked.

I
did catch "Failure
to Launch
" this weekend.  That’s the movie where Matthew McConaughey
still lives at home with his folks and Sarah Jessica Parker gets hired to get
him to move out.  Sure, it was formulaic, but I found it entertaining for
the most part, although I would have preferred seeing
Zooey Deschanel’s butt rather
than Terry Bradshaw‘s.  I
also did a full review of "Ultraviolet,"
a movie that really needed to be rated "R," although that may not have really
helped other than giving me some nudity.

I haven’t posted them yet, but will
be doing so as I format them, them being the 15 movie previews I typed up over
the weekend, and I plan on doing a DVD review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of
Fire, so I won’t spoil my change in thought on this movie yet.

I can’t
remember if Stu gets back in town tonight or tomorrow, so tomorrow’s
podcast might be a solo
effort, or a return to "Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up."  I’ve got to
make some dinner, finish laundry, and maybe get some previews posted before "The
Sopranos," so I’ve gotta go.  Hope you had a nice weekend!

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

Learning Animation, Lucid Dreaming, and “The Matador.”

By:

The Dude on the Right

Not much new has hit the pages of Entertainment Ave! in the past week, and I
partially apologize. Pretty much I’ve been wrapped up trying to finish the
animation for the debut of "Stu and The Dude Review the Movies for You" later
this week. I think I’ve just about got it down pat, I hope, because I’d really
like to get some sleep and not have wacky dreams where I started bouncing around
my bedroom, eventually landing on the floor, and then being pulled through the
ceiling, only the ceiling seemed to be infinitely thick because I keep floating
higher and higher yet still going through plaster. The weird part, as if that
wasn’t weird enough, was that I was aware I was dreaming and usually when that
happens I can take control,
lucid
dreaming
as it is called, and believe me, being able take over a dream can
be pretty fun sometimes. But, I just kept floating up through my ceiling until,
still aware I was dreaming, I forced myself to wake up.

Anyway, thanks to The
Dude on the Left calling, I was able to get from in front of my computer monitor
and saw pretty funny adult film, "The
Matador
," where
Pierce Brosnan
is working quickly to shed his image as James Bond, although he does kill some
people in the movie. If you’re looking for some adult humor and entertainment, I
recommend it.

Wrapping up before I get back to getting back to trying to learn how to do
animation, thanks for your patience and support. We should have a new episode of
"Stu and The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up," I’m going to try and write some reviews of
"Underworld: Evolution" and "Last Holiday," as well as review "The Wedding
Crashers" DVD that has been sitting next to my TV, but in working to get one of
my goals for the new year accomplished, I’ve got to get our premier video
podcast of "Stu and The Dude Review the Movies for You" done by the end of
January, even if it means no sleep or more wacky dreams. I just hope I can take
control of the next one because it’s always fun being able to fly around in your
dreams, especially when you can control it.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Funny how getting your car serviced can help you get work done.

By:

The Dude on the Right

I had to take the dude-mobile to get some servicing done so I figured what
better time to catch up on some reviewing than sitting in the waiting room at
the car shop.  I brought along my trusty new laptop and popped out reviews
of "Syriana," "Fun With Dick and Jane," "The Producers," and "Match Point.
I know, "What took you so long?", but I’ve got my reasons, and none of them good
enough or ones that I want to share.  Let’s just say that too many things
got in the way.  So, "Bamm!", four new reviews and a new blog all in one
day.

If all goes well we should have our first videocast by the end of the
month.  Sadly, yesterday, I ran into some computer issues that blew up a
file (I know, back-ups are the name of the game, but do you have a full back-up
of all of your work?) that set it back about a week.  Fine, I admit it, I’m
an idiot because this was important and I should have been doing a continual
back-up, but I didn’t.  Stu and I are in test mode right now for this
videocast, and now I’ve got to rebuild some things I should have never lost in
the first place, but at least I have my knowledge of doing it the first time, so
it shouldn’t be as difficult, kinda like riding a bike.

Enough rambling, read the new reviews, and have
a fabulous day.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Go and see “King Kong,” Radio Shack Still Has Problems, and I Really Wanted to Like “The Family Stone.”

By:

The Dude on the Right

First off, and I’m hoping word of mouth will propel this movie, but for goodness
sake if you are a fan of movies, or if you just like an entertaining movie, or
you just want to spend about three hours immersed in a time of wonder, or if you
might want to get weepy, or you are curious to see how movie-making has changed
from the 1933 version to this version, go see "King Kong" at a theater near you. 
It did okay at the box office this weekend, around $50 million, but not nearly
the numbers the film studio was hoping for I’m sure.  But as movies come
and go, I’m hoping "King Kong" has some staying power, kind of like "Titanic,"
because it deserves it.  I was this close to changing my mind and seeing it
again today, instead of "Syriana,"  and between the two, "King Kong" is a
million times more entertaining (although "Syriana" does challenge your mind a
little more).  Fine, it’s not for those under, probably 10 or 11 or so, but
for everyone else, the dudes will love the action, the dudettes will love the
sentimentality, and sure, you know how it ends, but you knew the Titanic sank
and you still went to see that one.  "King Kong" in 2005 does not deserve
to be a box office miss-step.  Enough preaching, now to Radio Shack, and
this story will probably make this blog a little too long, but I’ve got to write
what I’ve got to write, so let’s get to it.

My podcast a few days spoke about
my disappointment in visiting a couple of Radio Shack stores, and the lack of
really getting me the items I needed.  I have to say that my experience
yesterday was better, but at one store, still lacking, not because of the sales
dudette not wanting to help me, but because of poor training in my eyes, and
that’s not a good thing as we come upon Christmas.  You see I’ve been
working on this "not so high tech nor super high quality" portable podcast
studio.  My goal is to be able to make a multiple person podcast on the
road, and even get it posted, and all of it fitting in a nice case.  First
necessity a laptop, and since it’s the holiday season, I had that licked and at
little bit of a break.  Other than the nice case, the rest of the parts
should have been easily available at one or two of my local Radio Shack stores. 
They sell basic microphones and a portable mixing board capable of either four
microphones or two microphones and one line input.  They also sell the
patch cables, wind screens for the microphones, and 9 volt batteries.  So
last week I started my hunt, and at the first store I went to they had nothing I
needed on display, nor the tags where the item might have been so I could
inquire if they might have had it in the back room.  That and they didn’t
greet me.  Next stop the mall.  Not too busy, a couple of salespeople
talking amongst themselves, and I give every indication I’m looking to buy
something.  Yup, I found the mixer, but oddly enough the basic microphones
were nowhere to be seen, and even though I picked up the mixer, was making sure
it had all of the ports, plugs, outputs, that I needed, narry a sale-dude came
over to ask me if I was interested in buying anything.  I don’t play that
game, especially since I know how the sales game should at least be played. 
At the third store, I have to admit that the dude was nice enough, but upon
telling him what I was looking for, and not checking in the back, or at least on
the computer, he announced they didn’t have any, but he could order them for me. 
I wanted to buy, if I wanted to order I would do so on the web.

So yesterday I
was on a mission, to finally get all of the damn things I needed.  I did
some initial investigative work the day before, where at least the Radio Shack
web site said a different store had, in stock as of Friday, the items I were
looking for, and after seeing "The Family Stone," I headed the dude-mobile in
the direction of that store.  Upon entering the store I was greeted by who
seemed to be a newbie, mostly because she was younger and asked me a taught
sales line of "Hello, what brings you into Radio Shack today?"  It’s
actually a good sales line, but most sales-folk forget it after a while, when
they have become disgruntled as sales-folk, and just say something really
generic like "Is there something I can help you find?"  Anyway, enough of
my knowing sales technics.  Being a previous Manager of a Radio Shack, and
knowing all of the things they used to look for in a saleperson at the end of
the day at the corporate level, I figured, hoped, wanted this to be her easiest,
sort of high ticket, multiple line item especially since it included a battery,
and I might even spend the extra couple of bucks on the service plan to help her
out, sale of the day.  I was her perfect customer, knowing exactly what I
needed, knowing the Radio Shack product line, knowing she didn’t know the add-on
items like the wind screens and the battery needed for the mixer, and knowing
that if I bought the couple of buck service plan on the microphones I could
pretty much walk into a Radio Shack a couple of years from now, say the
microphone wasn’t working, and be given a new one on the spot.  But, sadly,
her training was nowhere to be found, and I really felt bad for her.  She
wasn’t really sure of the mixer I was looking for, but there was one, in the
box, on the shelf, so I nicely told her it was the first thing I was looking
for.  Next, there weren’t any microphones on the shelf, out of the box, nor
the boxes for the microphones, so I nicely asked if that meant they were out of
stock.  She didn’t think they were, but they might be in the back, so she
went to her manager, with the tag from the shelf that clearly said
"Unidirectional Microphone," stating that I wanted two of them, and her manager
said there were two microphone stands in the back room, somewhere on a top
shelf.  The girl came back with the microphone stands and I had to crush
her the first time by informing her I was looking for microphones, not mic
stands, and I could hear the nervousness in her voice as she went back to her
manager, who somewhat scolded her, then sent her back in the back room, where
she came out with two microphones, and we proceeded to head to the counter,
where I forgot all about the wind screens.  The girl starts ringing up the
sale, finishes clicking on everything, and comes up with a total of a little
over twenty bucks.  I’m too honest, and felt bad at this time because I
also noticed she grabbed two different microphones that weren’t even the mic’s I
was looking for, and nicely said "Something must be wrong."  Alright,
enough rambling.  Still rattled, the girl went into the back room, turns
out they only had one of the microphones I was looking for, and as I kept trying
to be up-beat with her, that mistakes happen and all, I couldn’t help but wonder
what happened to at least the simple training that should be necessary in a
store such as Radio Shack.  All the manager did, without doing it, was set
up this girl, who seemed nice enough, and eager enough, to fail.  Finally I
got smart, called another store saying I needed X number of these, X number of
these, and one of these.  The dude, Alex, plugged the numbers into his
computer, said the computer showed he had all of them but wanted to quickly
check the back room to make sure the microphones were back there.  He came
back on the line, said they were in stock, I told him I would be there soon, he
nicely asked "Please ask for Alex when you come in," and he had the easiest sale
of the day.  I still feel a little bad for the younger dudette from the
earlier store, because she at least tried, much more than I can say for the
stores before hers, and Alex either had a manager who really taught him the
ropes getting into the holiday season, or at least just knew an easy sale when
he saw it.

Look, I’m still a fan of the Shack, still know that when I need
certain things I know where I can go, but from now on, I suppose if I’m really
looking for something I should call first, doing all of the selling to myself,
and just be bummed I’m not getting the commission or perks they used to give
when I was there.

Well, that’s enough lamenting about my Radio Shack struggles
these days.  I’ve got a podcast yet to do on my mobile podcast studio and a
Chicago Bears game to watch.  That and still get this blog, the podcast,
and my review of "The Family Stone" posted.  There’s never enough hours in
a Sunday sometimes.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Some New Postings and a Random Thought.

By:

The Dude on the Right

This is just a quick blog for some updates if you want them.  First off,
there’s a review of "King
Kong
" on the website, and I loved it, and also, now, want to stalk Naomi
Watts.  Second, there’s a

new podcast
with a quick discussion of my disappointment of two Radio Shack
stores, my analysis of how to lose a million dollars on "Survivor," and a quick
audio review of "King Kong."

There was supposed to be a big winter storm here,
in the Chicagoland region, but it didn’t happen.  I think winter weather is
harder for weather folks to forecast, but that’s just a random thought right
now.  In any case, click on the links if you want to, and see you next
time.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

I Still Wonder What God Has In Store – The World Series or the Lottery

By:

The Dude on the Right

Well right now it seems that God is granting my prayer that the White Sox win
the World Series because, well, I didn’t win the
Mega Millions game on
Friday and the

White Sox took Game 1
on Saturday night.  Since no one won the jackpot,
though, I told God this morning that he could still let Houston win the Series
as long as I win the estimated $128 million jackpot coming up on Tuesday. 
I guess we’ll see which way God is leaning after tonight’s (Sunday) game, as
well as Tuesday’s game, and if I win the big money on Tuesday night.  I
can’t help but hold my breath either way, and I’m not re-taunting my sister’s
family until at least Tuesday night to see exactly which way God wants to take
this.

In the meantime, this weekend, I almost got all of my podcasting
connections working like I want them to, I just have one more thing to work on,
and that’s trying to come up with an easy way to get some
TIVO sound into my iTunes
library because I’ve got some audio from the World Series Game 1 that really
needs to be revisited, and I’m not talking about Liz Phair’s version of "God
Bless America," because that stood out on its own, and sadly, not in a good way
(don’t get me wrong, I love Liz Phair, wish I would have gone to
Oberlin College back in
the day just to maybe hang with her, but is it really a good idea to put someone
who notoriously has been known for not being the most comfortable in front of a
crowd, and plopping her in front of 41,000+ people who aren’t really fans of
hers, as well as the thought of millions on TV?).

Anyway, the Bears won this afternoon :-), the Browns lost
:-(, Doom pretty much sucked,
and that Snake Plissken, I mean
Kurt Russell horse movie
was really enjoyable.  I’m settling in for Game 2 as I write this, and the
weather has gone to shit here in Chicago, but not nearly as gone to shit as
Florida is about to get.  The baseball folks seem to think they can get the
game in, and with the money involved, they probably will, but it might be a long
night, hopefully with a White Sox win, unless, of course, God has the intention
of me winning $128 million on Tuesday.  Only God knows right now, I just
hope he’s kinda got Hurricane Wilma on cruise control and doesn’t let something
slip by in the World Series or the lottery.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Website Issues, “A History of Violence,” and The Indians Lost, At Least TV Gets Back to Normal.

By:

The Dude on the Right

So last I left with how God might have messed up with Hurricane Katrina and how
I was pissed at my cable company for messing up with the Indians/White Sox
broadcast, but I suppose I should just let that all go since the hurricane stuff
was mostly based on wacky religious postings and Hurricane Rita didn’t hit
Houston like it was supposed to, and then, of course, the Cleveland Indians,
coming on strong, really choked, as apposed to the White Sox who found
themselves winning games like they were at the beginning of the season.  At
least I don’t really have to worry that much about watching the baseball
championships on TV, I’ve got too many other shows to watch anyway, although I’m
still pissed about The W.B. moving "Smallville" against "Survivor."

I’m finally catching up on things after a couple of weeks of tweaking some
website design issues that were bugging me, most of which none of you will
notice, but I just wanted to tidy up the place a bit, thus delaying a lot of
postings and podcastings.  So, posted now are reviews of "A
History of Violence,
" "Flightplan,"
and "The
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
" DVD, the last, which, sadly, didn’t have
that much cool on this release but the movie was okay viewing the second time
around.

This week I’m working on a podcast review of the movies I’ve seen, a podcast
and website review of the new Bon Jovi and Crazy Frog CD’s, getting back on the
concert trail, as well as still trying to catch that damn penguin movie everyone
seems to like.  September just ended, kinda like the

Green Day
song, and there are only three months left in 2005.  For me,
2005 has really been a hell of a year so far, a lot good, a lot bad, and maybe
it’s been the same for some of you out there, but the Holidays are coming, as
well as Howard Stern going to
Sirius (farting is supposed to start this
Thursday, and farts are always funny, and in all fairness and disclosure, I do
own some of their stock),
Paris broke
up with Paris
, Renee is back on the market, so is Jennifer, and I’ve got two
months to lose some weight and beat my sister in our second bet.  It’s
looking to be a busy three months for the rest of 2005.  Good luck, we’re
all going to need it, I think.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

I Anoint Myself King of the Nation of Easily Amused!

By:

The Dude on the Right

I was hoping to see the movie
"Four Brothers"
today, but I became very long-winded as I was finishing up my review of
Green Day
from last week.  The reason I wanted to see "Four Brothers" was because
most people said it was good, and if so, I needed to show that some of my movie
reviewing is still believable because most people will quickly discredit me as I
have given
"Deuce Bigalow:  European Gigolo"
3 1/2 stars.  I have done so by
deeming myself King of the nation of Easily Amused.  My justification for 3
1/2 stars – They didn’t make European Gigolo to be anything more than easy jokes
and some gross-out stuff, and for that they succeeded.  Sure, there are
movies better at it, but I laughed at times, and that was all I wanted out of my
movie-going experience on Saturday afternoon.

So, new review-wise, we’ve got
the "Deuce Bigalow" and "Green Day" reviews. 
The Dude on the Left and me are
supposed to be covering
George Thorogood
this week, so I’ve got that to look forward to, but I’ve also been working on a
bunch of movie previews with links and such to their sites, so those will start
getting posted today and tomorrow.  I’ve also got a backlog of some DVD’s
to revisit, and I forgot about my CD reviewing project, doing quick reviews of a
bunch of CD’s that I have.  I’ve got the quick reviews written, I just have
to get off my ass and get them posted, so those will probably filter in.

Hope
you all had a fun weekend.  Later this week I’m heading back home to the
old homestead to see the folks ahead of the
Labor Day
weekend travel nightmare, that and the fact that I’ll be hanging at

Wrigley Field
when
Jimmy Buffett
comes to town next month.  More on that later.

Anyway,
hope you all had a nice weekend.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on
the Right!!  L8R!!!

My Problem With Kids and Movie Theaters

By:

The Dude on the Right

Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent and I can’t relate, or
maybe it’s just that the parents don’t care, but I still find it
unbelievable the number of parents that bring kids to movies that just
aren’t appropriate for them. My case in point this time being while I
was at "Bad
News Bears
."

Getting to the gigaplex a little early so I can get
my favorite seat, I’m sitting in the theater knowing that the movie is
rated PG-13, for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality, and
thematic elements, whatever that last one means. Just as the commercials
begin, in walks a dad and I’m assuming his two sons, looking to be about
5 or 6. They proceed to sit a couple of seats away from me, and then dad
instructs the sons that they should move because he’ll be back in a few
minutes with candy and stuff. What dad doesn’t instruct them is the
basic rule in movie theaters – keep your mouth shut, don’t ask
questions, and don’t kick the railing in front of you. While dad was
gone, the kids went on to do all of those things, and I knew my
movie-going experience would be a chore. I hoped, that at least when dad
got back, that things might change, but low and behold, I guess dad
thought this was his living room.

Yep, I’m trying to watch a pretty funny movie, and Johnny and Billy
(not their real names) keep asking dad questions about what is going on
in the movie, what
Billy Bob Thornton just said, or to pass another
Twizzlers. Then
of course there was Johnny, or maybe it was Billy, who kept thinking
that the cool thing to do because he didn’t understand what was going on
during the movie was to kick the railing in front of him. Dad, did,
politely tell his son to stop, but these were kids who don’t seem to
listen to their parents because he kept at it for most of the film.

I hope you, our reader, are good parents and courteous movie-goers,
because damn, we’ve all paid our good money to see this movie. It’s bad
enough we think the theater is our garbage can when we toss our empty
popcorn bag under our chair, but people, it is not your living room,
because I’m not in your living room. That’s how you can tell.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!