finally some time for movies

My wife and I haven't had time for movies in ages; just too much stuff going on. We hadn't watched anything in a couple of months. But we finally managed to catch Up, The Proposal, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. At home, of course; going out would have even bigger problems. But at least we don't lose a lot in quality of presentation that way. Not nothing, but not a huge amount.

We enjoyed all three, although we were a bit surprised that our daughter didn't enjoy Up more. She liked parts of it, but there were actually parts that were too slow for her (she's only a year old). Mostly she liked the parts with Dug (we knew she'd like those parts). But we thought it was fantastic.

My only gripes with it were that Muntz should have had more trouble moving around than Carl. After all, he was significantly older. The part where they both had their backs go out while fighting was a nice nod to that. And the part where Carl finally read's the exploration book was a tad sappy, even for me. Although I can't argue that it didn't work.

But it detracted noticeably due to screaming out, "Second Act ends HERE!" But those really were the only low points for a movie that hit a great many high points.

The Proposal was also quite enjoyable. We laughed at it quite a bit. The only real big problem with it was the whole idea of them falling in love. It seems a bit of a stretch to fall in love with someone in a couple of days that you've been calling "Satan's Mistress", and similar endearments. If you can ignore that (and we mostly did), it was a pleasant surprise (expectations were not all that high on it).

And speaking of low expectations, my wife took one look at the cover of Nick & Norah when I bought it, and said, "This movie looks terrible". But I convinced her to watch it nonetheless, and we both enjoyed it quite a bit. It definitely owed quite a bit to Juno, especially artistically (having Michael Cera in both didn't hurt that impression, of course, but it was really the credits that drove it home).

As a side note, while the soundtrack was quite good, it suffers a great deal in the comparison with Juno. But then, most movies do.

But getting back to Nick and Norah, their interaction was very good. They were both very smart; Nick had a couple of very sharp off-the-cuff observations, and Norah alluded to being valedictorian/salutatorian in her school. I'd like to make some snide remarks about the few stupid things they did vis-a-vis each other, but then I think back on what I was like at that age. Not a pretty picture.

My only complaint about the movie was the gum. What the heck was that all about?!? Aside from being occasionally gross, it didn't seem to serve any purpose.

Plus, lesser complaint that I never really could figure out why Caroline and Norah were friends. Well, I could certainly see why Caroline would want to be friends, but not so much for Norah.

But in high school, it doesn't really need more explanation. I'd've just liked to've seen it.

Anyway, we'll see if I can do any more anytime soon.

new computer

My old Macbook Pro has been getting a bit long in the tooth for quite a while. The tipping point came when trying to edit some photos, and having the hard drive start thrashing. Given that a memory upgrade wasn't an option, a new one was getting to be a requirement.

So I was waiting for a while, hoping for Apple to come out with an i5 or i7 Macbook Pro (presumably Arrandale), but there's still no foreseeable prospect for that.

And then I poked my head in on the new 27" iMac; I'd never owned an iMac (other than, for a couple of weeks, a first-gen one that I gave to my Mom some years ago), and didn't envision myself ever owning one. But my jaw dropped when I saw that it had a monitor that would be an upgrade from my 24" Dell monitor (also getting a bit old, but a much less immediate need), could also drive an external monitor, and had a Nehalem i7 as a CPU option. Support for 16GB of RAM was the icing on the (very tasty) cake; 12 months same-as-cash financing and company discount were the sprinklies on top.

Well, I wasn't about to spring for that much memory, but 8GB wasn't too much extra.

So I stuck the iMac next to my old monitor, plugged it into the KVM, and now have a disgustingly big desktop. Being able to have Aperture take over the big screen, and still have what used to be a full desktop available. Oy. I'm feeling really spoiled now. The only way to improve it would be to replace the dell with an Apple 30" Cinema Display. Once they fix the backlighting on those, that is. :)

(For those wondering about the speed, I keep Rosetta@home (a distributed protein folding application) running all the time. It crunches a unit about 22% faster than the old MBP, and runs four times as many units at once. Score! And with all that stuff running, I still have significant free memory. Life is definitely good. :)

Update: Well, one slight flaw has raised its head; no support for jumbo frames (a requirement for taking advantage of gigabit ethernet).