Friday, December 30, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Dan and Jed

This is our final stop for images from the trip. I know all of you were really wanting the entire experience... but such is life.

Somehow, I convinced Dan to do a scuba diving excursion with me in Aruba! We ran off on our own (which did not happen much on the trip) and faced our fears of life in the big deep. It was a beginners dive, with an hours worth of teaching and learning. We started off in a hotel pool (which little children swimming around us looking on in interest)!

The equipment weighed a ton... getting used to it was ok... but once we got down on the ocean floor... wow! I am addicted! We only dropped 25 ft and I really wanted to break away from the group and see some stuff by myself. Maybe next time.

The rest of the day is relaxing at the beach (yes, more shots of Dan with his shirt off for you creepy folks!!) and that evening we went out to eat at Carlos and Charlies. The story there is Lynds caught eye of a very large creepy roach... and the girls proceeded to completely freak out!

Good beer though.

BTW - I have added windows versions of each show for those who need... Kern... looking your way!


View this clip on Vimeo



Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm feeling good...

I got all sorts of time today - here is another slideshow of cruise pics.

View this clip on Vimeo


The boat had formal evenings that were fun... and loads of food that we mowed on! Though I only gained 5 pounds or so (Stevens? We are not sure what he packed on!!).



Sari - more slideshows

Day two of our cruise was equally stunning to day one. We had taken a look at the excursions the night before at dinner - finally we agreed upon one that would take us on a hike through the jungle to a water fall called Sari Sari Falls. We had no idea what we were getting into!

As Dan stated - we should have known when 19 of 3200 people signed up for the trip that this was not going to be an easy day.

After an exciting bus ride up the mountains of Dominica, we found ourselves hiking through a banana field. This was all fine and dandy, if not a little warm for us... then we started going downhill. Steep dropoffs... very slick rocks... and a muddy path, led us to the river at the bottom. Here we waded carefully through and attempted not to shatter our bones on the slippery boulders!! (Poor Rhonda took a bit of a tumble but was a definite trooper about it!)

After a brutal hike, we finally reached the falls... and they were breathtaking!!! I struggled to contain my excitement as we rushed to jump into the beautiful cool waters. I swam out to the falling water - and it took all of my strength not to drown under them. It was unbelievable!!!

This journey is one experience that I will not soon forget... and I am sad to admit that it might be a while before I get a chance to do something like that again. I thank my lucky stars for falling into this excursion.

Check out some images.

View this clip on Vimeo


P.S. None of the picutres do any justice to this place.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ram ma lam a lama dama ding dong...

So I found some time during lunch to toss together a quick slideshow of our arrival in Puerto Rico - getting on the ship - and our first stop in St. Thomas.

Forgive the musical choice - it does not say much about the images... just kind of keeps things moving along.

St. Thomas contained the beautiful island of St. John, which in turn, contained Trunk Bay. We were recommened this stop by a fellow traveler and we were in his debt!

The water was perfect! Warm - clear - and wonderful for snorkeling (which we do not have any images of!) The beach sand was white and soft to the touch.

We arrived before any large amount of people showed up and basically had the place to ourselves. It was beautiful. This was our first day.

Take a peek

View this clip on Vimeo



BTW - Devin did a helluva job whilst I was away. In fact, methinks it is time that he post more in the non-pressured into it way. Me no find the funny anymore... bring on the Schmacker!

Howdy kats and kittens!!

Whaddup yos!!!!

Back in foggy ol Iowa ready to take on a new year! I am rather swamped at work with a few projects - and I want to read through last weeks blog-0-rama.

Look for pics and stories throughout the week.

Carry on my wayward sons!


Has he returned????

Fino, come out and play!!!

bunny out

Friday, December 23, 2005

'Tis the Season

Ah, Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. This is my last post for the week. Next week will bring the return of the incomparable Damfino. Scheduled to get home on Christmas day, I'm sure on Tuesday he will have all sorts of stories to tell and hopefully pictures of the fantastic places he's been. I'm not really into the whole political correct scene so the only thing left to say is

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I reject your reality and substitute my own

Alright, it's time for my little bit of psycho-nerd for the week. Nothing much happening last night so I got to watch one of MY favorite shows, Mythbusters. It was a rerun, as is everything right now but this was the episode where they are trying to clean dried concrete out of a cement truck with explosives. The most common form of the myth is a stick of dynamite. The crew got an old beat up cement truck and while trying to keep it running long enough to get a good coating of cement around the drum it was accidentally filled over half full. This wasn't discovered until after it had dried leaving them no choice but to get a second beat to death cement truck and try again. The myth was deemed plausible when a stick and a half dislodged a good portion of the dried slag. Of course this left them with the first truck that was half filled, so they decided to get a hold of the FBI and see what they could do. The answer is fill it with 850 pounds of commercial grade high explosives and detonate it in a rock quarry. The crew was over a mile away from the blast and got hit with tiny pieces of cement truck. The aftermath was unbelievable. A couple of frame rails and what used to be part of the engine block was all that was left and that was nowhere near the original location of the truck. I really like this show. I only wish it wasn't a closed studio since it's filmed in San Francisco, and I just happen to be going there in about two weeks. End psycho-nerd rant.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Have you been good?

Merry Christmas to all the Ladies of the Damfinoblog!

TMT Year End Blowout

Hi all. Just wanted to shamelessly plug myself once again. As most of you probably know by sheer virtue of my inability to shut up about it, I write for a website called Tiny Mix Tapes.

As do most of the good old music review sites and mags worth their incredulity are doing, TMT is putting out their year end extravaganza. And I got to be a part of it!!!

So if you have a minute peruse the year end articles there. You'll get to thrill not only to my individual list of the top 25 albums of 2005, but you can also see several of the blurbs I wrote!

This is good, because the site goes on break until January 9th or something, so I won't be seeing one of my normal reviews in print for a long time. Damn my ego...

Anyhow, if you would like to see all the hard work I have been doing as of late, go to Tiny Mix Tapes and check it out.

Thanks for your support!

You can't take the sky from me.

Well, Serenity was bought. And it was enjoyed, at least by me. Wendy was not quite as thrilled as I, but I really didn't think she would be. I also promised Jed that if I talked about Serenity I would express his disappointment in the DVD cover art. He hates it. I don't especially like it, I would have preferred to see the whole crew on the cover or at least something representative of the movie contained within but I guess they decided to go a different route.

As penance for making her sit through Serenity we watched Wendy's new purchase, Must Love Dogs. Yup, it's definitely a chick flick. With that being said, it wasn't bad. It might not be very manly of me but sometimes curling up on the couch with a pretty girl, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and watching a romantic comedy isn't a bad way to spend an evening. Of course since I'm not currently, nor have I hardly ever been, part of a couple, romantic comedies generally leave me feeling, well, lonely. That was pretty much the case here, no curling was had, but the movie had some funny jokes, and one cruel one about an engineer with a sexual dysfunction (probably involuntary abstinence). All in all if a pretty girl wanted me to call in sick and spend some time on the couch watching it I probably would, but, at least this time, it left me a little more disappointed with my life than before. On the plus side, at least I got to play with fire.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You don't want a hungry dove down your pants

Yet another incredible episode of Arrested development last night. I almost temporarily changed the name from Damfinoblog to the Bob LobLaw Law Blog but I think that might be overstepping my bounds. We can only hope that someone at another network sees our candlelight vigil and picks up the series so we can continue our time with the Bluth family.

No new communication with Jed to report, I suspect that we won't be hearing much from him till he's back. But in other news, today is a good day in my life. Why? Because Serenity comes out on DVD today. You see, I have watched Buffy and Angel for years, at first I was ridiculed and told that I must be watching them for Sarah Michelle (please, if that were true it would be Alyson Hannigan, or maybe Charisma Carpenter. Oh and I can't forget about Eliza Dushku, wait I'm not helping my case with this line of thought, Anyway back to the subject). But eventually some other friends started watching them and found out that there are good stories and a good sense of humor to them. So now after several years I was justified in my enjoyment of the two series. Of course by now I had seen every episode a dozen times. So what is a guy to do, get off the couch and pursue a real life? No, pick up Joss's third show FireFly.

A co-worker loaned me his copy of the complete series on DVD and after a tough first two episodes I was hooked. I think it took me about 24 hours from the time I put in the first disc to the final special feature. I can honestly say I was a little disheartened when I put in the last disc because I knew it was the end. I spent a few weeks bummed and then found out that a movie was being made, Serenity. At that point I made a construction paper chain and every night I tore off a link waiting for the opening. And I loved it. And it bombed. This pretty much tolls the death bell for any sequels and that is tragic. I had heard Joss had a trilogy in mind to complete the crew’s journey but sadly this is not to be. So I will buy the DVD immediately following work and I will put it beside my copy of Firefly. And I will watch them often and remember the good times. At least until the next obsession comes along.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bon Voyage

Well, our esteemed Damfino set out on his tour of much warmer places yesterday. Some of you may not know me very well or at all so it begs the question, Why did he want me to watch over the blog? The answer is simple, Greg didn't want to do it. And since I have a bad habit of caving to peer pressure from certain individuals, here I am.

Normally Jed has some sort of weekend recap on Monday mornings but since I can't think of a way to make "played Playstation all weekend" sound exciting I will have to pass on that aspect today. Jed did call his brother yesterday from Puerto Rico to tell him it was 85 degrees. Immediately following the phone call Josh shut off the heat to Jed's room opened the windows and soaked his bed with water. Ah Brotherly love, there's nothing quite like it. But I have done my part to help Josh through the week without his brother, I set up my computer to randomly spew obscenities at Josh all week. It's not as good as the real thing but I think it will do for now. Hopefully for my next post I will have something of substance to say but it's kind of doubtful.

Friday, December 16, 2005

We may have to repeat this for the French!

Use the link to the right for...



Twas beauty killed the beast...

It is often hard to go into a movie knowing that the critics have heralded it - proclaimed it perfection... 4 stars... thumbs up... blah blah. Often that pre-conceived notion of excellence makes expecations very large indeed.

I did not expect to walk into King Kong with that feeling.

The critics have taken hold of the film - throwing terms like "genius" and "amazing" towards the 3hr7min behemoth. Ebert gave it a perfect score... Travers gave it a perfect score... EW rolled out an A!

Yet the film fails just as much as it achieves.

The genius of the film is focused on all the scenes with Kong and Watts. Jackson nailed this relationship perfectly. There is some amazing (are you noticing the terms) scenes of Watts attempting to interact with Kong, keeping his attention and trying not to get eaten. There are also shockingly brilliant moments where you can really read into Kong's emotions... seeing how his thought pattern is progressing. I found this relationship, these interactions, to be the most convincing and most interesting of the film.

And the kicker is that they were done by an actress - a blue screen - and an animated character.

What is frustrating about the film is the fact that you come out disappointed! You have all of these unbelievably well done elements... that are shrouded by overly long indulgent scenes of other characters that nobody cares about.

The first hour of the movie is nearly unwatchable. It is great to see 1930's NY... but none of the characters seemed to work (including Watts at this point) and the direction seemed sloppy and badly paced!

Jack Black was a disappointment as Carl Denham, the obsessed movie director. As my friends Dan and Jer said, he oscelated between two looks; goofy, ready to bust with a D rock, Jables... and his dramatic taking in events look (see pic above). Brody did not do much for me as the writer... and the crew on the ship... ugh. Jamie Bell should have been completely cut from the film. He was of no interest to me... yet often seemed to have a larger role than Brody himself!?!?!

I came out saying that I am never going to watch it again... too many useless scenes that dragged (wait til you see the running of the dinosaurs... sooooo ridiculous!), yet, talking right now about it... thinking of those moments with Kong and Anne... all of the stuff in NY at the end. If I could just watch a well paced 2 hour film with all of those scenes... I would hand it an oscar without blinking an eye.


P.S. Just to let you know... I got sniffly at the end. The guy next to me was bawling... if you allow yourself any connection to the beast - your heart will break as he slips from his kingly perch.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

News For Veronica Mars People

Britt Daniel of Spoon

I've still not seen one episode of Veronica Mars, despite the urgent pleas of Damfino to do so. I will, soon, I promise.

But I found this interesting tidbit today about a special guest star who is set to appear. Britt Daniel from rising Austin indie band Spoon!

If you don't know Spoon, you should get up and march yourself to the record store, young man(or lady) and pick up the album Girls Can Tell. You will likely not be disappointed, and may want to continue from there.

This marks an interesting path for the band, as one of their songs from their 2005 release Gimme Fiction just showed up in a bloody Jaguar commercial the other day. I guess indie folks finally figured out that it's fun to afford groceries!

If you would like to read the news item, do so here.

I'm all in baby!

Ah, the wonderful days of purchasing a long awaited DVD. I was giddy with joy as I picked up ol Gilmore Season 5 last night - excited to see it sit next to my other sets.. and super jazzed about listening to the commentary by Amy and Daniel Palladino!

I have not heard the track yet, but I did get a chance to watch the special features. There is a great 15 min 100 episode retrospective with cast comments and a waaaay too short 100th episode shooting day video which is hosted by our beloved Sookie! Yummy stuff - enjoy.

I also snagged this little nugget. I loved "The Frighteners" when it came out - the crafty filmmaking of a pre-LOTR Peter Jackson really pulled my crank. I also loved seeing Michael J. Fox in a starring role - he is an actor that I wished could have had more of a career... c'est la vie.

Anyway, the disc has an amazing 3 hour documentary on the back side that Jackson produced on his own. You can tell how he is beginning to formulate how he would like to do his DVD doc's even then... it is definitely superior to most overly produced garbage you find on discs these days!

Devin snagged "The 40-Year Old Virgin" last night. Unrated of course, and packed with tons more nudity and completely vulgar dialogue. It is pretty much a funnier version of a day at the Damfinoblog...

Finally - I will be heading out on a cruise next week (ahthankyou!) - I will be leaving the blog in the capable hands of Devin. Look to him for odd posts filled with quality images and filth talk. Here are a few snaps of the cruise details. Enjoy.

My route!

My boat!

My room!

My stop!

My goal!


Monday, December 12, 2005

Nice vice...

The Miami Vice trailer has arrived...


I know ol Michael Mann has gone waaaaay over his budget (from $100 million to $150 - the price of the new Potter film) and the Execs are already nervous. And now, with a very artsy trailer... and Collin Farrell in a moustache and mullet... well, somebody is freaking out.

Go watch and tell me what you think,


The Ultimate Fall

Johnson's "Airing of Grievences" celebration came off without a hitch. Drunken foosball, loads of beer, and a few little bottles of Jegermeister - made his Festivus a complete success.

One highlight was the viewing of the wrestling documentary about The Ultimate Warrior. In my younger days, I was an avid viewer of Saturday morning's WWF wrestling! I loved watching Hulk Hogan give a smack down to the Iron Shiek... and how Hacksaw Jim Duggin's eyes would blip in and out of control... but I also loved watching the Ultimage Warrior come rushing in and wailing on the ropes!

Sadly, it turns out Warrior was one of the biggest tools in the bunch. He would skip venues, refuse to go out until he was paid money in hand, and he was basically the most hated wrestler in the business.

But those streamers he tied to his arms... priceless.

Narnia was a good ride. It is tough; I love the LOTR films sooo much, it is difficult to walk into a similar film and not compare it. Watching the large battle of Narnia made me appreciate Helm's Deep and the last 1/3 or ROTK all the more!

With that in mind, I am going nuts waiting to see KING KONG!!!! The group is planning a Wednesday night last show. Word of mouth is that this flick is unbelievable! Peter Jackson has definitely made quite the name for himself - people are talking like he has replaced Spielberg as the ultimate popcorn movie director.



Friday, December 09, 2005

Weekend Plans

Here are a few things I plan on "doing" this weekend.

The Chronicles are being viewed tonight at a late show!!! I have waited a long time to see this film - read the books as a child - used to get odd feelings when reading of the White Queen....


Traffic was downright phenomenal, and I have hear nothing but great things about this flick. Plus, Clooney added some 30 lbs to his build to play the character... my boy gots made fat skills!!

Scarlett and I have decided to end this ridiculous game that has been going on between us - we are throwing caution to the wind and going for it!!! Look for a tell all post on Monday.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sheriff's Random Rambling

While watching the MNF blow out this week I became interested in what the other spots on the magical dial had to offer. So while surfing my basic cable package I discovered a re-reun of that little watched 90's program "Seinfeld". For the fan out there it was the "Elaine spounge" ep. And who do you think I saw wanting to plow Elaine and finally deamed "spounge worthy" after promising to trim his sideburns? Our very own Luke Daines from Gilmore Girls. Well, it wasn't actually Luke but the actor who plays him on the show lest you all think I can't seperate real life from the "historical documents" found in my magic box. He was much slimmer and had different hair but that voice and the eyes triggered a "what the" moment in the sheriff that made the evening a little brighter. Commence mocking at for effect!

bunny out

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And lo... the beast

The reviews are trickling in... and most are very enthusiastic for KING KONG!! I am getting super jazzed to check out this flick.

I have been watching the produciton diaries along the way... and this should be a LOTR quality film!!

Anyone else excited?


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New Trailer


Dear god it is perfect.


Sex Gravy Train

Another smooth hit by Mix Masta D!

Why am I not going under the water!?!?!?!?

Damnit! It is just not fair. Why do the best shows always get cut down!?!? Last night Arrested Development returned, playing later than usual for us because there was a basketball game on!!

Anyway, I am not sure I can remember laughing so hard in recent memory! I was in the middle of a pause for the "Being There" moment that they had worked into the show, when all of the sudden Tobias' hair went afflame...

Holy Mother of God did we laugh... we flipped the DVR back a bit just to watch the end again... it was a killer.

Bravo AD crew - you will go out on top!!

And then you have the other side of the world; tonight we will be viewing Dukes of Hazzard - a pretty much unfunny film dripping with Jessica Simpson sewage. We will be watching to see all of the car driving and stunts again.

They were cool.


Monday, December 05, 2005


I spent all day yesterday watching the Bears/Packers game (pathetic at that) and did not see a single ad for Arrested Development - yet came in today and read that a new episode will air tonight. Huh.

I guess we might as well enjoy the last gasp of the series... perhaps 15 million will show up and Fox will see the error of its ways...

or perhaps not.

Also, there is a site up to try to save the show. We all signed up before... lets try again.

Christmas tree is up - Fireplace is roaring - Egg nog and cookies were devoured - and it is freezing outside. I am staying in for the rest of the year, anyone who wishes to join me - come on over!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

My Gigantic Announcement

SCRUBS returns Tuesday, January 3, with back to back new episodes starting at 8pm (central)!!!!



There is no such thing as the simple truth...

Good ol' Mr. Kern led me to another amazing book, which in turn led me to lead my book club to read it this month; Russell Banks' THE SWEET HEREAFTER.

What can come off as 5 simple monologues told by 4 people is actually a densely well crafted tale of death-life and question of truth in existence. Banks' language is well balanced and not condescending to any of the characters.

If you will remember, Banks also wrote AFFLICTION and RULE OF THE BONE, both of which I have sitting in my room waiting for me to crack them open. Only two of his books have been made into film - AFFLICTION was done by Paul Schrader and spotlighting James Coburn in a final role and Nick Nolte in a non THREE FUGITIVES character.

Since I am presenting at book club this month, I added the viewing of THE SWEET HEREAFTER film by Atom Egoyan as part of our discussion. The film works perfectly for our comparison - taking the basic narrative structure and beaking it all apart, moving events and moments completely out of order... but making them add to the emotional whole of the tale in a very effective way.

Some of the major changes happen with Mitchell Stevens (played by Ian Holm) who is shifted to the lead role for the film. His role is increased and fleshed out completely. In fact, the iconic image on all of the posters is in fact part of a flash back story that Stevens tells. The story contains one of the most moving visual frames I have seen in a long time; an image of a child staring into the camera... with a blade being held by its head. I was blown away by Egoyan's interpretation of that story... and of the images he made and how he used them in the film.

It is a beautiful film - well shot and well acted. The locations are gorgeous and really draw the viewer into another world... and isolated place... where a discussion of death and life truths could take place.

Check it out...