New Posts Ahead


I’ve been so swept up in this wind turbine school, it’s seemed lately that there’s something missing from my life. That would be this, The Litter Box. Now that we’re halfway through the six month course, patterns have emerged that make it easier for me to make time for blogging. I’ll be back soon with a look at Northwest Renewable Energy Institute… a new kind of school for a new kind of occupation.


courtesy AE Wind Turbines


School is in Session


I’m starting school tomorrow (8/23/2010) for training on windmill technician glory. Posts will probably be sparse, but I’ll try to update as much as possible. Thanks to all for checking in, and a big virtual hug goes out to Miss Cellania at Neatorama for her weekly link love. I’m really excited to start this new chapter of my life, but will always reflect on the past couple of years with fondness.

More obvious signs here!

Internet Outcry Yields New Sandwich Policy


In a way, the Internet is like one big complaint box at times, and occasionally will have a direct result on powerful decision-makers worldwide. I’m not sure that’s the case here, but many moons ago, this comic rendering of a serious malpractice issue flew around the tubes:

I mounted my own local campaign, praising employees that tessellated, and publicly humiliating those who did not. It’s clear I am not alone, an army of one, because this just got serious. Subway Down Under is the company’s media outreach arm, and the head honchos have released this new policy there.

Vive le Résistance!

Just Say No to 3-D


James Cameron was the first person to say it, but I’ll paraphrase here: Distributing your movie in 3-D when it was shot in 2-D is a pointless act of stupidity. He should know. The only movie I have ever seen in 3-D that was impressive was Avatar. The top-grossing movie was shot entirely using 3-D equipment and exquisite protocols. The bandwagon that has followed (and somewhat preceded) Avatar is full of tacked-on tech that accomplishes two things, and two things only: turning a film into a novelty, and milking extra dollars from the audiences.

Scott Weinberg writes more on this topic in Here’s How 3-D is Ruining Movies.

But to jam an allegedly whiz-bang 3-D face-lift onto a film that was never shot for such a presentation? It’s a rather shameless marketing gimmick that seems to be making some solid coin — and that sucks because the 3-D technology slathered all over Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans remake does nothing but mar the film. At best it’s a forgettable nuisance (nothing in the movie truly “jumps” out at you; there’s no real “depth of field” expansion; and the 3-D stuff does nothing to get you “into” the action that the normal film wouldn’t) and at worst it’s a visual headache that actively damages the film’s production design and special effects. I noticed the surface of a tree that was “bubbling,” and I thought it was supposed to be an evil tree until I realized … nope, that’s just the low-rent shake & bake “3-D conversion” process in action.

I will be watching Clash of the Titans sans glasses, thank you very much, and I’ll use the extra money I save to feed a starving kitten. So there.

(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

The Fascinating Tale of the Kee Bird


Once upon a time I was most interested in the world of aviation.  I was actually contemplating pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot, and had always found myself gravitating to the lore of flight machines.  As kind of a fluke, I ended up in the US Navy as an airman loading ordnance onto planes; this led to other duties such as towing jets and the corrosion control/painting of the A-6 Intruder, a fine bird.  The films of Steven Spielberg had a role as well, like a shared love of all things WWII aviation.

Nova’s B-29 Frozen in Time, about the Kee Bird, renewed my geek affair with aircraft in one fell swoop.  Here’s Part 1, narrated by Richard Crenna (!):

(YouTube Link)

The story is romantic, and tragic.  It’s the epitome of FAIL, but it’s so very inspiring.  Darryl Greenamyer was a test pilot and B-29 enthusiast who, after learning about a certain abandoned bomber called the Kee Bird that emergency-landed 50 years hence in Greenland, decided to launch a rescue mission.  With his long time mechanic on board, a crew of skilled workers, and a lot of financing to get the seemingly simple task done, he delved into the harsh Greenland waste.

The ensuing voyage of frustration, drama, determination and ultimate failure shines a light on the nature of strength.  You can see what happens as you watch the videos (linked in each part at the YT link), and perhaps relate to efforts and best laid plans… an agent at my office wrote on her whiteboard: “There Is No Struggle Without Strength.”  It is so true, and sometimes the struggle turns out okay.

Like it did for me today.  After a month of negotiating, salvaging failed sales, dealing with scared and angry people, and a lot of hard work, my sellers signed today, and their buyers sign Tuesday.  It was a struggle, but I was strong.  And for some reason, this all reminds me of Darryl Greenamyer and his Kee Bird dream.

Buy it on Amazon.

Star Trek Insurrection Review


I was getting anxious tonight for the next installment of  RedLetterMedia‘s review of the Star Wars prequels; so much so that I tripped over this other (4-part) review by the same genius as the famed Episode I The Phantom Menace review (7 parts).  Full disclosure: I actually liked Insurrection, precisely because it felt like a throwback to the TV series.  But wow, great presentation here as to how bad that movie was.

My Favorite Rabbit Since Bugs Bunny


I guess I’m behind the times on this one, which escaped my gaze a few years ago on the short animated circuit.  I am absolutely loving it right now.  Treating my cat for milial skin infections, and the sudden snowstorm has made me just want to snuggle up next to a fireplace and watch this on repeat.  Viva Run Wrake.  Brilliant.