King Kong

Wow! Highly impressive. Peter Jackson shows his stuff and it was good. The first hour or so is a little slow, but Jack Black and Adrien Brody carry it well. The special effects are incredible. Naomi Watts did the best out of the actors in the movie in my opinion. I see so many movies and you just can tell when an actress or actor just doesn’t play the role and make it believable. Naomi was totally believable and did an awesome job. I wasn’t as impressed with the music as I was for Chronicles or Batman. But it was good. Kong did manage to knock Chronicles of Narnia from the top spot but it didn’t actually do as well over the first weekend as Chronicles did. Since I don’t think there are going to be any more really good movies for 2005 here’s my list of favorites for the year.
1. Chronicles of Narnia
2. Serenity
3. King Kong
4. Batman
5. War of the Worlds

  • Camera: Canon PowerShot SD300
  • Taken: 18 December, 2005
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Focal length: 12.12mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

When there was color

When there was color

Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid. – Jules Feiffer

Boyce MotoMeter

Boyce MotoMeter

This is actually a radiator cap with a temperature meter built into it. Instead of having a temperature gauge on the dash board it was on the radiator cap that stuck up above the front of the car. Boyce MotoMeter maintained a virtual monopoly on the radiator thermometer for quite awhile until the electric sensors were developed and ended up replacing the hood mounted meters.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Number 1 movie of the year hands down. That’s my opinion at least.
According to the top movies for the year were (followed by my opinion):
$380,262,555 Star Wars: Episode III – Good, not great
$234,277,056 War of the Worlds – Really good
$209,021,798 Wedding Crashers – Wouldn’t touch it
$206,438,942 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Good, kinda wierd
$205,343,774 Batman Begins – Awesome, very good
$201,010,207 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – No thanks
$193,136,719 Madagascar – Good, not great
$186,330,528 Mr. & Mrs. Smith – Good, not great
$177,575,142 Hitch – Really good
$158,115,031 The Longest Yard – Avoid at all costs, too much cussing.

Not sure how well Chronicles will do in the box office, but in my opinion it beats all of these movies. The acting wasn’t top notch, then again the majority of the acting was kids and they did do a good job. I did think James McAvoy, Mr. Tumnus the faun, did really well. The White Witch, Tilda Swinton, was very believable and well done. I also enjoyed Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan. From what I remember of the book the movie seems to have followed the story line exceptionally well. There were a couple of scenes that looked too fake. The animation of the animals and mythological creatures was wonderful. The battle at the end was on the size of some of the battles in the Lord of the Rings (my all time favorite movie by the way).
I went into the theater with fairly low expectations, not sure what to expect. I left impressed and wanting to see it again.
I’m curious to see whether they make any of the other Chronicles stories into movies. It’s a little unlike The Lord of the Rings in that the other 6 books don’t feature the same characters. I think the White Witch is in one of them, if I remember correctly. One last point…it’s good to see a well done captivating movie with no cussing and sex.

VB6 Image Resizing and more with FREEIMAGE

I have an application that I’m working on. As a side note it’s related to a previous post here on MISGuys. I wrote awhile back about RSS readers and the fact that I couldn’t find a single one that did what I wanted or that was priced reasonably. So I decided to make my own. It’s called squatRSS.


Not sure why I chose that name, it just jumped out at me and I stuck with it. I’ve got a pretty good start but it’s not ready to be released yet. I hope to release it at a later date. While I’m not trying to get rich on it I do plan on charging $10 for it because I have spent around 25 to 30 hours so far and I’m sure I’ll spend that much or more before I am ready to release it. We’ll see if anyone is interested in buying it and if not then I have a cool RSS reader and that much more experience in VB. $10 doesn’t seem like too much to charge for a good little application. Anyways, while I’m pretty proficient in VB6 I’m not guru enough to write my own code for taking a bunch of image files and batch resizing them. So I searched the web and after considerable looking found a good solution. The FREEIMAGE project is an open source library project that supports many different image formats and is able to perform many different image manipulation routines like rotating, resizing, flipping, color adjustments and more. I’m just using the image resizing part of it, so I can’t speak to the other functions, but resizing works really well and is quick.

Flying high

Flying high

It’s kinda wierd that I tend to take so many pictures of birds. I really don’t like birds that much. They seem like rats with wings to me most of the time. They can be so annoying, pooping on everything and making noise and such. Yet I keep photographing them. I think I’m just fascinated by their ability to fly and they make it look so easy.

The end of Christmas as we know it…or is it?

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
REM penned these insightful words sometime around 1987 and these lyrics will forever be able to be used to describe the world we live in, at least it seems that way.
I keep hearing discussions about everyone being so afraid to give any religious association to the upcoming holiday season known as Christmas. Personally I don’t care if people call it Christmas or Winter Solstice or whatever. Those who embrace Jesus and allow Him to affect their lives shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate Jesus’ birth. How can we expect those who don’t know Jesus or care about Him and what he did for them to want to celebrate the same as us? How can we not expect them to try and seperate Jesus from this time of year, just the same as they seperate Him from Easter? As for my family? We give each other gifts, put up a tree and put decorations on it, we get together and have fun and celebrate life. We also put much emphasis on Jesus’ birth and remind our kids that Christmas is not only about giving gifts and Santa, but it’s also about the Son of God who cared so much for you and I that he left the riches and comfort of Heaven to be born in a manger as a little baby and live a human life and experience the trials and pains of humanity. Though he did it without sin and in so doing was able to die as a sacrifice for our sins. Don’t let the fact that Target or some other big chain company shy’s away from the word Christmas get you in a tizzy. If you look at the history of the Christmas holiday you’ll quickly see that it has always had controversial meanings to many different people. Just remember that it’s our responsibility to celebrate and teach our kids what Christmas is to us, not Target’s or Walmart’s or Dillard’s. Merry Christmas.

  • Camera: NIKON D70
  • Aperture: ƒ/1.8
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s

Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit

I don’t normally like to write a post about something I haven’t actually reviewed and tested yet, but it sounded so cool, I just had to write about it. I read today about a new tool from Microsoft to secure computers that are being used in a public environment.


For instance, we have a computer in the front area were I work so that people can sit down and schedule their next visit with us online. I used group policies to lock this machine down because I didn’t want it sitting there open on our network nor the internet wide open to who knows what. So, I locked it down pretty tight. This new tool is supposed to make locking down such shared computers even easier. I plan on giving this tool a run in the next couple of days and will let you know how it turns out, but it sounded so cool I just had to share! :)

  • Camera: NIKON D70s
  • Taken: 16 September, 2005
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Water droplets

Water  droplets

I find the edges a bit distracting in this, but I really like the detail in the center area. This was taken a month or so ago as the leaves were beginning to fall. They have pretty much all fallen now which reminds me, I need to rake my front yard.

Dell Precision followup

Just as promised a technician was sent out to fix the Dell laptop the following day. The laptop is back up and running although there’s a small issue that they are still working on. The tech had to replace the motherboard, which went fine. The problem is the laptop now thinks it’s a Dell Latitude and not a Dell Precision like it actually is. It doesn’t seem to have affected usability of the laptop, but the tech said the problem would be when I went to run updates from the Dell website. So they are getting the bios issue straightened out and it’ll be back to were it was. Overall I was impressed with Dell’s support and speed. It was a much better experience than I was expecting.

Update: 12/1/05 A tech came out today and got the Dell Precision laptop working correctly. The problem with the laptop thinking it was a Latitude and not a Precision is fixed and the laptop is back to how it was before the motherboard up and died. While I am impressed with the performance and design of the Dell Precision we have decided to go with the IBM laptops for our project instead of the Dell’s. The IBM laptops are actually higher priced and the warranty isn’t onsite like the Dell’s, but our confidence level is much higher than with the Dell’s at this point. Hopefully this turns out to be a good decision.