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November 9, 2005

Random musings

This will be completely off the cuff, and rapid fire. Everything I can think of that I want to get down right now:

• I really want to see the movie Serenity but I can't find the time or willpower to do it. It is playing at the Hopkins theater for $2 right now. Is it worth it? Has anyone else seen it?

• Speaking of movies, I have recently seen Sin City and Secret Window. Sin City was decent. Truthfully, I liked it probably for one reason and one reason only: Carla Gugino. I'll just leave it at that.

Secret Window was not very good. Predictable and not very suspenseful. I would not recommend it.

• Thanks to a past recommendation from Andy at Twins Killings I am really enjoying the music of Air right now, specifically the album Talkie Walkie. Very pleasant and different.

• It has taken me 32 years of life, but I am finally going to read Watership Down. I'll let you know how it goes.

• I am really enjoying the T-Wolves right now. Maybe it is the mystery of a new team (how will they play together? how good is the Jaric guy?), maybe it is Rashad McCants (did you see that alley-oop from THUD? Yikes.), or maybe it is because this is the start of a new season and I'm supposed to be excited. Whatever the case, I am watching a lot of basketball and I am loving it.

Did you see the City Pages article about the T-Wolves last week? Good stuff. Well written. The author, Britt Robson, does not care for THUD at all. Among his more salient points he had this to say:

Every minute Hudson steals from McCants at the shooting guard position will penalize this franchise down the road.

True. McCants is the future, not the defensive nightmare that is Troy Hudson. Give him some PT Casey!

• Now for a Boring vs. Interesting update ... unfortunately I've had three boring days in a row. On Sunday I watched the Vikings game. That was the highlight. On Monday I watched Sin City. Again, a pretty lame highlight. And last night I went to the library. Nothing too exciting there.

At the library I picked up a book for myself (Watership Down), and a bunch of books for my kids. Specifically I got Fantastic Mr. Fox for my middle son. We read half of it last night and really enjoyed it. Roald Dahl was a very gifted childrens' author.


Interesting days: 10
Boring days: 5

Have I really been tracking this for 15 days?

• I've got a question for everyone: how many years have you been working and how many times have you switched jobs? I've worked at the U for 7 year now, and while I still enjoy it, perhaps I should look around. Let me clarify, I'm not looking around right now, I'm just starting to think, "How long can I work in the same job?"

Anyone out there interested in a 32 year old webmaster and adjunct professor at St. Kate's, with a Master's degree in Library Science and a sad obsession for stadium related issues? Let me know. I got mad skills.

• I like Cheer or Die's prediciton that the Vikings will win this Sunday. I think the team has finally turned the corner.

• I gotta say I liked how the Minneapolis mayor race turned out. Keep Rybak in office so McLaughlin stays on the Hennepin County board. Of course, it probably doesn't matter since the Twins deal with Hennepin County expires at the end of December, but I still have a little hope.

St. Paul's race is another story. I think St. Paul's chances to land the Twins just took a serious hit with Coleman taking over. We'll see though. What do you think Jim in St. Paul?

That's it. Talk to you later.

Posted by snackeru at November 9, 2005 9:04 AM | Boring vs. Interesting | Life | Sports


Carlo Gugino was definitely the high point of Sin City for me, although Jessica Alba was right up there as well. While I am a sefl-professed comic book geek (how many times have I made you take me to the Shinders at Ridgedale), I honestly couldn't tell you if I liked the movie or not. I love some of the (less violent) stuff Frank Miller wrote for Batman, but the Sin City movie was a bit over the top for me.

By the way, I could easily find a place for you here at the good ol' University of North Dakota. All that it would require is:

1.) You to take a major, major pay cut, and
2.) Our current web designer (who is a great guy and a very good web head) to have a major "accident."

Let me know when I should get started on #2!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at November 9, 2005 11:23 AM

Sin City was visually compelling but way too violent for my sensibilities. Not a movie I've been recommending.

I always thought 5-7 years was a good time to spend at one job, unless you were doing different things. It's that old adage: Do you have 5 years experience or one year of experience 5 times. If it is the later, it might be time to move on. Although we don't want to lose you here at the U!

No way Vikings win Sunday-sorry.

Posted by: freealonzo at November 9, 2005 12:25 PM

Nice to know there's a fellow comic book geek out there.

I've been at the same company for about 8 years now and it would be very hard for me to walk away from a company with that much invested in it from a benefits standpoint. It all depends on if you're happy I guess.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at November 9, 2005 12:34 PM

Speaking of comic book geeks, I recently re-read The Watchmen (also by Frank Miller). Awesome comic book and man it could be a real cool movie. That should be Peter Jackson's next project.

Posted by: freealonzo at November 9, 2005 2:05 PM

I am holding out a little hope that Coleman was perhaps playing up to left leaning in St. Paul in order to trounce Kelly. Just looking at his recent record indicates he is a little more moderate than he campaigned as.
On a side note, I take a little satisfaction in my vote yesterday because after filling out the very short single-sided ballot, I turned it over to the blank side and wrote, "I also vote for a Twins ballpark". The machine took my ballot so I have that on the record at least.

Posted by: Jim in St. Paul at November 9, 2005 2:54 PM


Don't let that mid-life crisis sneak up on you too quickly - before you know it you'll be looking at your kids and wondering, "Is ten too early to send them off to college?"

Also, freealonzo, The Watchmen wasn't written by Frank Miller, but by Alan Moore (same guy who did The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, neither of which were as good in their film versions as they were on the page IMO).

Posted by: David Wintheiser at November 9, 2005 3:29 PM

I was sure I recommended Talkie Walkie in a comment on this blog. Can't search the comments though, so I guess we'll never know! (...wait ... Google to the rescue!)

As for your job, I say we just start an Internet company of some sort. I have a Java background and I have a couple ideas brewing in my head.

I really liked Sin City. It blew my mind down at Crown Theaters.

The Watchmen is amazing. The movie was in process, but the plug was pulled. I personally agree with the majority and think it is too much for a single movie. A well done HBO series could be a great alternative (I also stole that idea from "The Internet").

Vikings? Win in New York? Huh?

Posted by: bjhess at November 9, 2005 3:38 PM

And don't forget the upcoming V for Vendetta!

Posted by: bjhess at November 9, 2005 3:42 PM

Sorry - this qualifies as spam.

Also, if you want your mind blown check out The Preacher. I believe there are 9 volumes of TPB's.

Posted by: bjhess at November 9, 2005 3:44 PM

bjhess, I'm terribly sorry, but you are right! You did first suggest Air's Talkie Walkie. I guess I remembered Andy's recommendation because he wrote a big entry about it. So, for what it is worth, I thank you also for the suggestion.

And thanks to everyone concerning your employment related advice. Again, I'm not really looking, I'm just thinking about it. The benefits here at the U, however, are pretty steallar so it may be difficult to leave. I must admit if I could get another job at a University or college that has a tuition benefit for dependents, well, that might put me over the edge.

I'll have to check out The Watchmen. I've never really read comic books/oriented material though. Not because I don't like it, but because I just never have. I'm always in the mood for something new though.

Nice work on the "I also vote for a Twins ballpark" Jim. I'll have to remember that tactic.

Curt, get started on #2. I'm serious. ND sounds wonderful about right now. Except that your benefits suck. If I got a job up there we would have to lead the union drive!

And bjhess, I'm intrigued by your ideas for a business. But don't you think there are too many Internet related businesses out there already? I suppose the big goal is always to create a business and then sell it. That is what I would gun for.

Posted by: Shane at November 9, 2005 3:55 PM

One more thing, the violins at the end of "Mike Mills" on Talkie Walkie are stunningly beautiful. Just a very beautiful song.

Posted by: Shane at November 9, 2005 4:00 PM


I just wanted to say that. Lucy and I went to Capote this weekend and really enjoyed it.

Posted by: SBG at November 9, 2005 4:55 PM

If you're thinking watching Serenity I have to suggest starting with the 13 episodes of FireFly:


It's not too hard to find the .iso of the Dee Vee Dee's or the .avi files for WMP on a BitTorrent site.

Anyway, defiantly worth the time, effort, and $2 dollars.


Posted by: Jx2 at November 9, 2005 5:42 PM

Yeah, I'd say Serenity is worth it, and I had never seen Firefly.

As for the "business" idea, it is kind of a niche idea. I don't believe the niche has been adequately filled. I've intended to work on it in my spare time, but I realize now that it would have to be my only hobby (no reading, writing, watching, listening, playing - just developing). Of course, running the idea by a few more people would probably allow me to find out that the niche has actually been filled and I don't know it.

Rambling, but I'm not too keen on "publishing" the details. In any case, the "business" wouldn't be one that you'd willy-nilly quit your job over. At best it'd end up being a nice side-gig with about a 1% chance of it becoming more. (For instance, I'm not even sure how money could be made on it.)

Posted by: bjhess at November 9, 2005 9:30 PM

David W: Re: Alan Moore and Watchman -- Duh. Thanks for pointing that out, take away 50 geek points from me.

Posted by: freealonzo at November 9, 2005 10:49 PM

In regard to changing jobs, I think you need to look not just at the job itself but the lifestyle you and your family have. A change of job would obviously mean a change of lifestyle, and a change that required you to move would make even more of a change.

Obviously, I don't know you, but it sounds like you try to get involved in a lot of things in your community. You need to look at how much you enjoy those things, how much of a contribution you are making, and how much you would miss those things if you couldn't do them. You also need to look at the opportunities to get involved and make a contribution in the place to which you might move.

As you have mentioned that you attend church, I would also suggest you pray about this. Without going all Rick Warren on you, I really do think God provides direction for our lives, if we pray and keep our eyes open for the opportunities he presents to us.

I changed jobs and moved to a new town when I was exactly your age, and had worked at my old job almost as long. It has worked out wonderfully. Not so much because of the job itself--it's okay, but it's not like I'd be terribly depressed if I was doing something else, nor is it like there are huge financial rewards. But I have found many more opportunities to get involved in and serve my community here, and that has been incredibly rewarding. I have done and am doing many things that I never would have dreamed of doing before.

Everyone is different, of course. It is obviously also very important how your wife and kids would feel about this--I don't have kids, so that wasn't a concern. If changing jobs is the right thing for you to do, the right opportunity will eventually appear. If not, that will eventually become obvious as well.

Posted by: Jeff at November 11, 2005 12:56 PM

Shane, this is very interesting to hear. Let's bring this up at your next performance review, hmm?

Posted by: Your boss at November 11, 2005 1:05 PM

Regarding your first thought about Serenity, the movie:

Yes, yes, yes!

If you don't want to go up to Hopkins or to Brooklyn Center, where I think it is playing this week, I heard that it will be at the Riverview in a week or two. That should be a treat - big screen, comfy seats, and real butter on your popcorn!

Anyhow, go see Serenity. It was awesome.

Posted by: psa at November 14, 2005 1:27 PM

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