May 2004


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Archive for May 18th, 2004

Hit ’em where it hurts

Posted in Geekery on May 18th, 2004

According to an article on, L.L. Bean has discovered that people visiting their website were being served pop-up ads – from their competition. Not an uncommon occurence, however L.L. Bean’s response is: they are suing the owners of the ads.

By creating ads that appear when Internet users visit L.L. Bean’s Web site, retailers Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Atkins and Gevalia have traded on the company’s name and infringed on its trademark rights, said Mary Lou Kelley, vice president for E-commerce at L.L. Bean.

“These advertisers are illegally poaching on L.L. Bean’s trademark,” Kelley said. “Using our trademarked name as a trigger to which you want to serve your ads causes customer confusion and crosses the line into trademark infringement.”

L.L. Bean is taking a new approach here by suing the customers of Claria Corp, the company that codes the tracking and pop-up malware.

Kick ’em right in the pocket, boys!

Blast from the past – literally

Posted in Miscelleny on May 18th, 2004

Excerpted from the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument webpage:

At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.

Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

Yep, that was 24 years ago today, and I remember it pretty well. I was living in Grants Pass at the time, still in gradeschool. We of course watched the news about it, and were fascinated by nature’s fury, but it became more real the next morning when we discovered nearly an inch of ash had fallen overnight, turning the city into a grim parody of a winter wonderland.

Put a whole new perspective on learning about Pompeii, lemme tellya.

This was not the first natural disaster I had near-personal experience with. Just a couple years prior to St. Helen’s eruption, my family had to be evacuated from our home in rural Oregon due to forest fire. I still get twitchy whenever I see the sky turn a particular shade of red.

I guess they call it the Ring of Fire for a reason, eh?


Posted in Media on May 18th, 2004

Ok, so I’m a sheep sometimes. Sue me.

In the interest of my sanity, however, I’ll stop at 100. Movies I have seen are in bold, and the list is an excerpt of the IMDB Top 250 Movies of All Time.

1 Godfather, The (1972)
2 Shawshank Redemption, The (1994) (The first half is tough, but the last is great)
3 Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
4 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
5 Schindler’s List (1993)
6 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) (Bought it, haven’t watched it yet)
7 Shichinin no samurai (1954)
8 Casablanca (1942) (Who hasn’t?)
9 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
10 Star Wars (1977) (Again, who hasn’t?)
11 Citizen Kane (1941)
12 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
13 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Duh.)
14 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
15 Rear Window (1954)
16 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
17 Pulp Fiction (1994)
18 Usual Suspects, The (1995) (I loved it so much I bought it twice – VHS and DVD)
19 Memento (2000) (Odd, but good)
20 North by Northwest (1959)
21 12 Angry Men (1957)
22 Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
23 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
24 Psycho (1960)
25 Fabuleux destin d’Am?lie Poulain, Le (2001)
26 Silence of the Lambs, The (1991) (The first time was ok. The subsequent repetition was my ex’s fault.)
27 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)(How can you avoid it?)
28 Goodfellas (1990)
29 American Beauty (1999) (Scared me how much I identified with the dad)
30 Sunset Blvd. (1950)
31 Vertigo (1958)
32 Matrix, The (1999) (And it sucked.)
33 Cidade de Deus (2002)
34 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (This was required in gradeschool english.)
35 C’era una volta il West (1968)
36 Apocalypse Now (1979) (Charlie still don’t surf.)
37 Pianist, The (2002)
38 Third Man, The (1949)
39 Paths of Glory (1957)
40 Taxi Driver (1976) (You talkin’ to me?)
41 Fight Club (1999) (And someone gave me a copy. You want it?)
42 Some Like It Hot (1959)
43 Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) (Loved it with subtitles, hated it dubbed.)
44 Double Indemnity (1944)
45 Boot, Das (1981)
46 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
47 Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
48 Chinatown (1974)
49 L.A. Confidential (1997) (Damn good flick)
50 Maltese Falcon, The (1941) (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love caper flicks.)
51 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
52 All About Eve (1950)
53 M (1931)
54 Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957) (And I can still whistle it.)
55 Se7en (1995) (Unfortunately.)
56 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) (And a lovely bit of fluff it is.)
57 Rash?mon (1950)
58 Saving Private Ryan (1998) (I give them points for realism.)
59 Raging Bull (1980)
60 Wizard of Oz, The (1939) (My daughter loves this.)
61 Alien (1979) (Once or twice by choice, ump-teen more times by proximity.)
62 American History X (1998) (Another 1-1/2 hours the ex owes me.)
63 Sting, The (1973) (Duh.)
64 L?on (1994)
65 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
66 Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
67 Vita ? bella, La (1997)
68 Touch of Evil (1958)
69 Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
70 Finding Nemo (2003) (I have kids. Of course I have seen it.)
71 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (SciFi fan? Me? Never!)
72 Reservoir Dogs (1992)
73 Great Escape, The (1963)
74 Modern Times (1936)
75 Clockwork Orange, A (1971) (Not all of it, but the parts I saw bored me to tears.)
76 Amadeus (1984)
77 On the Waterfront (1954)
78 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) (QT is the man!)
79 Ran (1985)
80 Annie Hall (1977)
81 Wo hu cang long (2000)
82 Jaws (1975) (And it never kept me from swimming – I live on the West coast.)
83 Braveheart (1995) (Crying? Me? I never cry!)
84 Apartment, The (1960)
85 High Noon (1952)
86 Aliens (1986) (Sigourney kicks ASS!)
87 Fargo (1996) (So, you were in bed wit’ da little guy…)
88 Strangers on a Train (1951)
89 Shining, The (1980) (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All work…)
90 Metropolis (1927)
91 Blade Runner (1982) (The first movie I ever bought)
92 Sixth Sense, The (1999)
93 Donnie Darko (2001)
94 City Lights (1931)
95 Duck Soup (1933)
96 Great Dictator, The (1940)
97 Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
98 General, The (1927)
99 Princess Bride, The (1987) (thankfully my daughter loves it as much as I do.)
100 Dogville (2003)

45 out of 100. Not bad, I suppose, but that means the thousand or so other movies I’ve seen weren’t on there, and I think maybe should have been. (With the exception of nine-tenths of the indie flicks my ex wife made me watch. I figure she owes me about 150 hours of my life back for those.)

When it comes down to preferences, they are:

  • Caper / Crime movies
  • Science Fiction
  • Action movies (Provided they have witty dialog)
  • Now, with that in mind, can you predict my top five movies? Winner gets a prize!