Monday, August 11, 2008

Review: Watchmen

First off, I am not by nature a comic book guy. I have enjoyed the occasional comic book that I have picked up. I have not really read any series regularly. With the upcoming movie for the Watchmen, I decided to take a look at this graphic novel. The trailer to the movie definitely looked interesting, but really what was this all about?

The color and imagery are vivid. The writing is good. The story is mostly good. I am sure that just pissed off quite a few people on that one... that is if anyone reads my entry. The basic premise of the story is you have a world where masked vigilante heroes exist. They are not super in terms of power, but truly super in their desire, drive and training in their fight against evil. This has created a story where many of the pivotal events in our world have changed since their emergence. The cold war is stronger than ever. The US won in Vietnam. Public riots eventually led to the downfall of these masked vigilante's and the public soon began to fear as there was indirect conflict with the police.

As this world unfolds, the story starts with murder of someone and how one masked vigilante, who refused to put away the mask attempts to track down the killer and determine who is behind it and what it all means. It really is a murder mystery/conspiracy tale at its heart.

I found the story excellent through most of it. It created a world that was interesting. At several points in the story, it is told next to the telling of a popular comic of that universe (Tales of the Black Frigate). Where what was happening to the characters in this book were a reflection and sometimes counterpoint to the actions in the tale of the Watchmen. I am sure many comic aficionado's found this as brilliant, I found this ploy difficult to read. And without given away the end, you feel as if you are building to something brilliant and enlightening or terrible and frightening, when suddenly the story twists into something less interesting and oddly like a forced closure. I felt there was more to explore in the world, but it was closed down because of a print limit or disgruntled artists, or some other reason.

I do recommend this to adults. It is a tad on the dark side. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Date Night

Well, for all my hard work, I was given a gift card at work to take the family out for dinner. Of course we excluded Miranda, instead giving her the treat of running around with a bunch of other kids, since really we wanted the ability to eat a meal and not have to eat as fast as possible cause she is bored.

So on Friday night, Michelle and I went down to one of our favorite restaurants in the area, Salty's at Redondo Beach. Since we had plenty of time, we went about meal at a casual pace. Michelle really wanted the mussels and clam appetizer, we got that. It was steamed and sauced in a wonderful pesto sauce. It was definitely very good. Michelle also got a Mango Alcohol slushie (can't remember the name). For our main course, Michelle got the Salmon with a dill cream sauce and I got the Halibut with tomatoes and capers on asparagus. I thought the dishes were cooked perfectly but were slightly underseasoned. Both of these fish have a strong flavor but need very strong pairings. Still, the dish was very good.

For dessert, Michelle ordered the Triple Chocolate Cake, while I ordered the Ultimate Nudge (coffee drink). My coffee drink was ... potent. The cake was very heavy and dense (and far too large a portion).

Overall, it was very relaxing.

At some point, I am hoping to put together a decent review of the Watchmen graphic novel that I just completed. If I run out of time, I will drop off a half-assed one...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Woodland Park Zoo

Last Saturday, I decided to do something I had yet to do with Miranda. A friend from work suggested a daddy and kids day out at the zoo to let the moms get a break. So, Miranda and I made the 30 minute drive into the zoo to meet Jeff and Nathan. I have to say, I was very impressed by the zoo. Yes the animals looked bored, but that is universal for zoos that I have found. You could see though that the staff really tried hard to make things good, though. The worked with feeding and cleaning. They talked to visitors. Overall it was a nice experience.

Miranda explicitly told me, "No Stroller." I should have overrode her, but generally I let her make all the non-critical decisions. This became critical after about 90 minutes of walking and she was getting tired. We had a bit of a meltdown, but really it was a combination of tired, hot, hungry, and thirsty. We got all that remedied when Jeff suggested a nearby mexican restaurant that had awesome quesadilla. Miranda consumed a lot of the chicken and cheese, but avoided the shell.

So I did get some pictures of the zoo. Feel free to look at them.

zoo 108

Friday, August 01, 2008

Useful widget that may make you a buck or two

Thought I would take a moment to promote the Amazon Page Recommender Widget. First off, as disclosure, I do work for and might have had something to do with the widget. First off, it gets you the power of Amazon Recommendations to try and earn a percentage of the income. On top of it though, will provide recommendations for other pages on your site. Given my traffic here is pretty low, the recommendations for my pages tend to be based on the couple posts before or after the one you are on. It just happens to be how my readers are going through my site. But after crawling through my pages every once in a while something interesting pops up.

That said, if you have a site and an Amazon Associate account, you should try it. Also be sure to check out the helpful FAQ and performance tips.