Archive for the 'flix' Category


gifted.jpgWe haven’t done one of these “flix” category reviews for a long time. We both watched the “Gifted” DVD and enjoyed it very much.

While this flick has all the ingredients intended for a family audience, it also targets those of us who have experienced higher levels of mathematics associated with our jobs or avocations. The latter subject matter doesn’t bog down the family aspect of the story as it keeps moving. There is also some brief comedy in the characters banter and actions.

The presentation of a gifted seven-year old girl’s complete grasp of differential equations and the Calculus was well done. I wonder if it is actually possible for an individual of that age to “get” differential or transcendental equations? Regardless, it was an entertaining movie to watch.

The IMDB Storyline follows:

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (McKenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

Off Target

Off Target

I just finished reading “American Sniper” by Chris Kyle. What an outstanding read!

When I saw this Ramirez cartoon this evening, I got a good chuckle out of how badly the left wants to discredit the movie (which TBH and I will view when available on DVD), but are so off target with their liberal bullshit that it’s ridiculous. The movie is STILL breaking records, grossing more than $250 million and growing.

I would be surprised if any of the liberals could even get as close to the target with an actual firearm at Chris Kyle’s sniping ranges as Michael Ramirez depicts.

One Six Left - DVD Review

left16.jpgI ordered the special features companion DVD for One Six Right after DrJim made me aware of it last week. It did arrive today and I watched the entire menu of special features this evening.

I played the video on my big monitor on the computer workstation rather than on the big screen which was in use by The Better Half, but it worked fine. I have the external speaker arrangement on the workstation which allowed the audio part of the feature to sound just fine. The 20 inch monitor rendered the visuals well.

Back to the DVD: the “behind the scenes” feature was quite good. The producer, Brian Terwilliger explained his motivations for making the documentary and presented several of the crew who explained their parts of the production.

The aerial photographer gave a background description (with visuals) of how some of the scenes were composed and the compensations made to get the dramatic footage for the main feature. Other crew were interviewed and showed how some of the special effects were made, how the film was edited and the film’s music composer described his role in making the soundtrack.

Besides the behind the scenes feature, there were a couple of sensational sequences of additional aerial footage, some from the other DVD and some new scenes. It is always a treat to see the classic aircraft and contemporary aircraft performing in flight.

I don’t see how one could have seen “One Six Right” and not want to see “One Six Left.” Neither of the DVDs were very expensive on Amazon, so why not?

One Six Right - DVD Review

One Six RightAfter procrastination (or forgetfulness?) for almost four years, I finally took the recommendation of DrJim and acquired this DVD. After watching it, I had to wonder why the hell I waited that long to see this. It was sensational!

I mentioned in my comment reply to DrJim that I knew several of the folks interviewed in the video. Barry Schiff, a famous airline pilot and I would get together when crosswinds came up at Santa Monica Airport. We flew the traffic pattern, he in his Aeronca Champ and I in our Piper J-3 Cub and do wheel landings. I met Hal Fishman several times and met Clay Lacy in the avionics shop I used to run at Van Nuys Airport.

Anyhow, back to the movie review. The original movie came out in 2005, directed by Brian Terwilliger, another notable aviation expert. The cinemaphotography was astounding for the aerial scenes and the interviews were informative and interesting.

The segment on disappearing airports was a little disheartening, especially what was done to Meigs Field, Chicago, by then Democratic Mayor Richard Daley, who literally dug up the runway to make the island it was on into a park named after his wife (or something). An example of how the left wants to take away all of our rights.

One review on this movie posted on Amazon was particularly helpful:

Why would you want to fly a small plane?

This is a very interesting movie for anyone interested in flying or learning to fly. This would be great movie to show to those who wonder why in the heck you would want to fly in a small plane. The movie also explains the importance of General Aviation airports and the role they play in our national infrastructure. It has great photography and was very well researched.

I will watch it again since it is now a very special addition to our DVD collection. Having worked in avionics and instructed at Van Nuys, watching the flying and interviews at the airport was quite a nostalgic thrill. Thanks again to DrJim for putting me on to this, even if it did take me a while to see it.

Assaulted DVD - Signed Copy

Assaulted DVD - Signed CopyThe signed DVD of “Assaulted - Civil Rights Under Fire,” arrived yesterday. The Better Half and I will watch it on the big screen TV in the great room when we get a chance.

The signature on the left is director Kris Koenig, I’m pretty sure, but I can’t identify the one on the right over the smoking cartridge image. The producer maybe? I’ll try and find out.

Clickable image - signed copy of Assaulted DVD

We have read a lot about this production and look forward to viewing it. We will probably order some copies of it and get it watched by friends and relatives.

We will have a report on the documentary after we watch it.

DVD Database

DVD DatabaseThe Better Half and I have been collecting DVDs since we got married. I had a lot of them on hand prior to that. On a couple of occasions, we bought a title that was already in our collection - D’oh! Enough of that, I thought - I need to keep track of the titles we have.

Clickable image - the entry form and a few titles from the database

For the blogs, we have an internet service provider that supports a number of on-line tools, including MySql databases. That’s how the blog keeps track of stuff, so a few years (maybe several?) ago, I wrote a database application to keep track of our DVDs. It sports an input form that allows us to specify a title, a genre, our rating (enlarge the image to see our 10-star ratings), a remarks box and a “status” as to where the DVD is located - either in Arizona or California.

Below the input form, is an alphabetical selection tool, allowing one to examine titles sorted by the first letter of the title. The application also allows us to “retire” a title - which means we have given it to charity or to family or friends. Since the inception of the database, we have acquired over 1300 titles, retired over 1000 (mostly to charity) and still have over three hundred titles on hand.

Today, I was messing with the code to change what had previously been a feature to keep track of titles loaned out, to keep track of where the DVDs are located. It’s a good thing that I left comments in the code to explain what does what and with which and to whom. Experienced software practitioners know that if you look at uncommented code that you have written six months after, it may as well have been written by someone else. Of course, I have met some programmers who have the attitude - “It was hard to write, so it should be hard to read!” Good thing I am not one of those. ;)

Inspiration For Our Flaming Skull Logo


The Better Half and I watched The Punisher flick a couple of nights ago. I took a screenshot of the scene where Frank Castle delivers “punishment” to Howard Saint and his crooked minions. This is the image I tried to depict when creating our flaming skull logo. Clickable image.

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