Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Review: The Street Fighter

You may think that this is referring to late nineties video game movie knockoff. Nope, this is original baby. Back in the year 1974, a series of 4 Hong Kong action flicks came out in the series for The Street Fighter.

The Street Fighter (1974)
Return of the Street Fighter (1974)
Sister Street Fighter (1974)
The Street Fighter's Last Revenge (1974)

All but the third movie stars Sonny Chiba. In terms of action films, the quality of the editting gets progressively better as the films go along, but the feats become more and more implausible. I am also going to say that flat out, if you don't like Hong Kong action flicks or if hate bad editting, just turn away now. I have had a ton of fun watching these 4 movies. There is a style that is so unique in the facial expression of Sonny Chiba's fighting that make this a lovable classic.

In the original, we have Terry Suguri (Sonny Chiba) doing bounty hunting for the highest bidder. At some point, he is betrayed by the bad guys and decides to help out the good guys. He then goes on a one man killing spree. Some of irony in the film is from the fact that the initial guy he helps turns out to be his nemesis because of "bad luck". Terry is paid to save a man, but the family doesn't have any money. The brother kills himself, so Terry sells the girl. In the end it proves to be his greatest challenge. Terry Suguri is not a good guy by any sense, but a man who looks out for number one.

The second movie, finds a slightly more loveable Terry Suguri. Again he is in the Bounty Hunting game, but is more selective in his targets. During the progression of the movie, drugs and the western oppression of the east come into play only to have Terry again triumph after near defeat.

The third movie has Sonny Chiba in it, but only as a bit character. The story centers around a female fighter who is out to save the life of her brother. As she progresses through the ranks, killing assassins, she comes to face the reality of what may have become of her brother, betrayal of family, and other very eastern type themes.

The final movie in this series (as far as I know) has Terry, who I would almost classify as a good guy. Trying to stop drug lords and also make a quick buck. He seems to struggle to find a lasting love that does not try to kill him after or during any love-making sessions. And in the end finds grief again.

What can I say. Just fun films.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Collaboration Tools

After being pointed to this blog site, by a coworker (James Reagan), I have been reading it regularly. One of Dave Pollard's recent entries is on collaboration tools. For me I see to two reasons to need this kind of article. Often time, you can't see all the different tools before you, or they start to blend together to some gelataneous blog of electrons. Dave has graciously put this information into a wonderful table with some strengths and weaknesses.

Business has been getting progressively more cost conscious yet the need to maintain a global presence is still there. How to do you meet with a team when they are scattered across the globe. Well this gives a few options, if you put them together. But now you require people to be tech savvy. But it is a start.

The other part that I saw, was I have tons of friends spread across the country and I have always had the strong desire to do some collaboration on writing (I can give ideas but please don't ask me to write a single line of dialog, unless you want some imaginative insults, Pringle Raper). But their is a revolution brewing where people can communicate, collaboration in a better way and it is darn exciting.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lions needs revisited

Let's first start with the original list of needs I put together a couple weeks ago and tag any offseason movement into it.

  1. Veteran QB - Jeff Garcia
  2. Safety - Kenoy Kennedy
  3. Defensive End
  4. Offensive Tackle
  5. Offensive Guard - Rick DeMulling
  6. Center - Dominic Raiola (re-signed)
When doing the original list, I forgot about three positions that need help as two were filled by one year contract guys last year.

  1. Wide Receivers
  2. Tight End - Marcus Pollard
  3. Middle Linebacker (?)
So now we have a few more folks lined up. We definitely need to get an offensive tackle this year with the departure of Stockar McDougle. But from my viewpoint, we can now improve the right tackle spot. Stockar did an excellent job last year, but I can't really tell if that was because of Damien Woody or because it was a contract year. Didn't do well before then.

I am not going to praise the Jeff Garcia pickup. I am not saying he can't do well, but I feel like we just upgraded to a better McMahon. Mobile, inaccurate. Although version two is less mobile, but slightly more accurate.

For Kenoy Kennedy. Rock rock on. Great pickup, will be a solid contributer.

There has been no word on the Defensive End position, but maybe pick up Marques Douglas?

From the rumor mills, the first round pick of the lions this year will be on a offensive tackle, probably Barrons if he is available. What I have heard is that the top three picks will be for both sides of the line.

Rick DeMulling is a great addition, but for center, well, I will leave to my last blog on this topic to say. Marcus Pollard as the Lions tight end is a great thing to see, and would be a great mentor for Casey Fitzsimmons.

Which leaves us with Wide Receiver and Middle Linebacker. I think that you may want to upgrade middle lineback this year. I like Earl Holmes, but you may want to trade away or some other bargaining chip. I really think you could go into the draft and pick up someone in the second or third round, to play backup or pick up someone like Edgerton Hartwell in the free agency. The worry there is he is a 3-4 guy all the way, and may not work out in the 4-3 of the Lions.

And at wide receiver, we have the two young guys, then blah. No offense guys. You are talented athletes, but sometimes if feels like you are wearing concrete gloves. Nothing sticks. I wouldn't take one in the draft, but instead would look into the free agent market, which is not that deep. About the best one still sitting out there is David Givens. Pick him up. Please.

Sometime later I will start talking about my mock drafts.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Sun shine and the flu

Ok. I am back. I spent a whole week in Florida, in the Fort Myers area, and managed to feel mighty ill. It was a lot of fun other than that. Let's go for a day by day size up.

Saturday. Waking up at 2:30 am sucks to get your flight. Getting into Ft. Myers before 10am is pretty nice. So the first day, Michelle, Grandma and I went to the Fleamaster, fleamarket. Wow, what HUGE collection of fleas. Really a lot of junk, but some junk was pretty cool. Ate at a nice Italian place for dinner, and had too much wine.

Sunday. Drove down to Naples to visit with my Aunts and Uncles that live down there. Had a casual morning before leaving around noon and found Pat and Red's with no "real" trouble. Had a cook out at Don and Dale's and then meandered home.

Monday. Outlet shopping. Was time to let my wife do some serious shopping, which amounted to not much serious. Hardly spent any money (good) but visited a lot of stores.

Tuesday. Visited Six Mile Cypress Sloughs. Really cool place where we saw tons of native Florida wildlife and some non-native wildlife as well. Snapped a bunch pictures (have to develop as forgot digital camera) and walked around. Went back to Grandma's and played cards. Went out for dinner with my aunt and uncle for mexican. Starting to feel ill. Headaches, etc.

Wednesday. Sat in a boat for almost 8 hours. The result was to spend 4 hours on Key West. Got a tour of the island on "train" and visited the aquarium, and mel fisher treasure museum. It was really cool. Kinda weird. And all together very college spring break like. Except my sickness had NO ALCOHOL INVOLVED. Sad, I know. Definitely want to go back and explore the Keys more.

Thursday. Rained cats and dogs. Some frogs too I think. So being sick, I used it for rest day. Watched some TV. Played some cards. Slept.

Friday. Watched a rain delayed St. Patrick's day parade. Flew home.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Review: KOTOR2

Well I finally beat Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. The game can be easily reviewed. The first 4 planets (depending on the order you take) are totally awesome. Lots of content, fun stories, etc. The other 3. Horrible. Very little story. Disappointing.

Still roughly the same game as KOTOR, they just went on to create a new story. But this was a total rush job at the end of the game. How about a new idea guys. Write your story, then have two teams, one working forward and one working backward. That way at least these stinking games will finish strong. Halo 2, and now KOTOR 2 felt like they got 2/3 in and then the production boss said, "Good enough, let's wrap it and sell it." Well, frell you!

I would still buy it again. But not for $50. I feel like telling them, 2/3 of a game equals 2/3 the price. If you can get it cheap, grab it, enjoy what you can, I totally love the beginning to middle.

3/5 stars

Beginning: 5/5
End: 1/5

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Update: Lions' Safety

Figured I would do this one in text versus audibly. Detroit Lions have picked up Kenoy Kennedy to start at safety. This is very exciting news. I am hoping that Kenoy will continue to be a strong force in the Lions' secondary that he has been for the Broncos. Either way, I say it is good news.

Second the Lions also had an offer accepted by Marcus Pollard, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts. Falling into the older side of the spectrum, it seems that he wants to play his final years here and help out the Lions, and boy can they use the help.

We still need to find that competing quarterback. We also need to find another wideout. The rest of the defense I think that you can pick up folks out of the draft.

I thought more about the Brees option. Yeah, the Lions could probably go get him if they wanted. But for a person who has shown me only one good year, especially only after competition was brought in, doesn't lend for me to have much confidence in him. Now you have to couple that with the need to spend big money on him since he had one good year, I don't think that is a good idea.

Who should they get? I will examine that later.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Audiocast: Lions Safeties

Today I talk about the Detroit Lions offseason with an emphasis on safeties. I talk about Bracy Walker and Brock Marion with a look at potential Lions: Kenoy Kennedy, Arturo Freeman, and Donovin Darius.

Also talk about Trent Dilfer's and Kelly Holcomb's recent trades.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Roku media player and Open Source Community

Well a friend and coworker recently got me for my birthday the Roku Soundbridge M500 Network Music Player. I still think he spent too much on me, but I really appreciate the gift. The thing is totally awesome. Before in my living room, I had a stereo and a 5 disc player. Plus about a 100 CDs. Just a pain in the butt to operate (mostly cause I am lazy). So this morning I decided to connect it up.

Out of the box, most of the work was disconnected my old disc player and running the cable from the stereo to the media tube. Otherwise, I plugged the wireless card into it, plugged in the other cables and turned it on. I walked through a simple wizard to setup the wireless network security. I went down to my WinXP and enabled Windows Media Connect (a UPnP Media server). I came up and tried to connect, no dice, but the error message said to activate my device in the WinXP machines device list. Two clicks later I was listening to MP3's off of my computer. Awesome. I added all my CDs to my PC months ago for this purpose and I finally get to try it. The controls are good. The remote has an awkward feel, but the functions are easy.

Thank you John.

On to Open Source. I have decided to add to the open source community. I first did something that it seems most people forget about. Search to see if someone is already working on my concept. And low and behold, nobody is. Darn. I really didn't want to write the code. I don't code for the joy of coding. I prefer to code with a purpose. So now I have one. At work, we use a project planning and tracking tool called XPlanner to handle that stuff, but I am horrible at updating it just because it is cumbersome ot go out to the planning site everytime I work on something new or change gears. Accuracy is key in this thing. For a while, I was writing down start time and end time on the work that I was doing. It worked, but I thought that I coudl automate this process. So this week I started work on Time Journal 1.0 written in Visual C#. Hopefully we will see version 1 completed fairly soon. Maybe this week sometime.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lack of Updating

I am just going to say that I have been very bad because I have been playing too much star wars: KOTOR2. It is too addicting.