From the monthly archives:

April 2008

Big Ass Indy 4 Trailer Leaked Online

by Dave on April 30, 2008

in Movies

The legal armies of Lucas may break down my door for posting this, but I am so pumped up for Indy 4 that I’m throwing caution to the wind. That’s what Indy would do. This trailer is a bootleg and judging from the plot points discussed and the “surprise” characters you can see and hear (Abner and Marion Ravenwood) I am assuming that it was not meant for release until at least after the film had been in theaters for a few days. The low-quality is also a testament to the fact that someone who works at a trailer editing house probably snuck this out after recording it on their cell phone while Spielberg was out for a fruit smoothie. If you want to be 100% surprised by absolutely everything surrounding the film – don’t watch it.

Video removed by Hollyood’s legal minions, but you can still read my notes:

  • This is the first time we’ve seen or heard Marion in any of the trailers. Karen Allen looks really frickin’ great.
  • The Mayans we’ve seen creeping around previously in defence of the Temple of the Crystal Skull aren’t a pocket of survivors untouched by civiliazation – they’re undead.
  • Ray Winstone’s Mac, basically a replacement for the late Denholm Elliot ‘s Marcus Brody, looks to provide some solid comic relief. “Put your hands down. You’re embarassing us.”
  • I knew Marion was along for the jungle adventure, but judging from the brief glimpse of Indy protecting a bearded John Hurt it looks like Abner’s in the thick of it too. I am thinking from his appearence, and another brief glimpse of a random guy in a cell, that perhaps the adventurers find Ravenwood locked up in South America somewhere. Either that or the Russians have him.
  • Is that Spalko jumping out of the tree like a jaguar near the end? Because that would be awesome.
  • I’m shocked that I’m not actually snickering at the thought of Shia as toughguy greaser Mutt Williams anymore.

Spielberg is definitely having a shit fit today because this has been leaked, and I feel for him because I know from all of my fanatical attention to info on this film that it is absolutely beloved to him. But I am happier in the knowledge that I can now say that without a doubt this movie looks seriously awesome. I couldn’t be happier about that.

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Squid Pro Quo

by Dave on April 29, 2008

in Giant Squids

I know everyone is a little upset that it has been a long time since I’ve written anything about giant squids. More specifically, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about giant squids. Remember that big 1,000 pound bastard they caught in New Zealand a year or so ago? Well the world’s leading squidsperts have aligned their schedules, met up in NZ and have spent most of the last 36 hours thawing squidzilla out.

In addition to identifying the gender, weighing and dissecting the half ton corpse in the name of healthy science, several of those in attendance have been tasting it. “Surprisingly the smell is not bad at all,” one scientist said. “It smells a bit like a clean fish shop.” That’s one big piece of Calamari! I, and every other blog or news agency in the world just replied simultaneously. But I will go on to say: I’d like to find a lemon big enough to squeeze over that huge Calamari!, and who’s got a deep fryer big enough to cook it in?! So, yes – I win, and remain the premier source of Internet giant squid news.

Providing they save some of the beast for the rest of us to enjoy it will eventually be preserved in a formulin solution and placed in a tank for feature in a Te Papa museum. Many different people will learn a great many things from our friend in formaldehyde. I am taking my lesson to heart early – Don’t swim in the ocean.


A Vancouver newspaper today reports new giant Humbolt squid activity which is threatening to devour all of the sea life on the West coast of Canada. The beak of the New Zealand giant squid is less than half the size of some that have been found in the bellies of sperm whales. In the wake of all the recent evidence there’s even a brand new classification being bandied around – Colossal squid.

After watching 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for the first time when I was a kid, I wouldn’t go into the bathtub for a week afterwards. Not much has changed, although 25 years later I’m not watching Captain Nemo get mortally crushed by a tentacle on Betamax – I’m reading the newspaper. Several, newspapers. Some poor soul is gonna get killed by a giant squid this summer. That’s my prediction. I mean, on top of that I will die alone.

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Monday’s Quotelet: Necking with Rocky

by Dave on April 28, 2008

in

rocky-grizzly-bear

“Look – I even warned you. Put me in Semi-Pro, and someone will die.”

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Throw Me the Schwag! No Time to Argue!

by Dave on April 25, 2008

in

I make a living through marketing. I am also an unapologetic Indiana Jones nerd. It stands to reason then, that I should pop a ‘short round’ over… Indiana Jones marketing. And that I will die alone.

  • Indiana Jones Burger King kids meal? Check.
  • Indiana Jones Pop Tarts? Check.
  • Indiana Jones Lego? Check.
  • Indiana Jones soda cans? You betcha.
  • Indiana Jones playing cards? Heck yes.
  • Indiana Jones birthday cake ‘boulderamas’? You know it.
  • Indiana Jones stickers? File under: ‘fuck, yes’.
  • Indiana Jones Lego? Duh.
  • Indiana Jones M&Ms? Matt Johnson needed a break.

indiana-jones-dr-pepper

It gets better before it gets better. Have a look at the running list at the brilliantly named ThrowMeTheIdol.com. There hasn’t been a movie tie-in blitz of this scale since I was… much, much younger. I love it.

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Inter-Species Love Fest Naught Eight

by Dave on April 24, 2008

in Animalistic


Not all of the 3 cats that live in my house are complete pricks. Janet’s cat, Mr. Bean, has been making a concerted effort to get along with the puppies. And I think he has succeeded. Look what I saw when I walked into my room today! I mean, besides the dead French Canadian prostitute.

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Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is released one month from today. I have had so much fun anticipating the film and enjoying the trickle of photos and info as it’s been revealed that I almost dread Indy’s impending arrival. I’d probably tack on another month if I could just to revel in the antici… pation a little while longer.

Just what am I supposed to focus my rampant nerdery after May 22nd, I ask you? Being an Indy fan is almost forgivable and cool. There isn’t a phaser, a star ship or a pair of pointy ears in sight. I’m afraid I might blow a gasket and start playing D&D with myself at night. By candlelight. On the end of my dock. You know – really give the ladies something to start swooning about.

While we’re all here, and I can still share some of my alarmingly comprehensive KOTCS knowledge with you before the big day, I suppose I should. Especially since I have so much of it rolling around in my crystal skull that I can boil it all down to only the most interesting rumors, plot points, character info, etc. I’ll try to stay away from brutal spoilers, but be forewarned.

  • Some early reports say that Indy 4 is too long, too far-fetched and that the reason the studio isn’t allowing reviewers to see it until the day before it is released (highly unusual) is because it’s just plain bad. One article even goes so far as to predict Shia Labeouf’s Mutt Williams is the franchise’s very own Jar Jar Binks.
  • Other early reports say that it is the best of the sequels, with the best story, the best ensemble of actors and characters in the series and that George and Steven are keeping their cards close to their chest right up until the release as a service to the loyal fan base who may have the experience sullied if too much gets out.
  • I have read in several places that Cate Blanchett’s villainess, Russian Agent Irina Spalko, is pitch perfect and jaw-dropping as a female Indy baddie. One lucky and anonymous chap who has seen the final film called it a “characterization that achieves instant cult status”. If you haven’t seen her in costume, enjoy. I know I do every night before bed with a belt around my neck for about 2 and a half minutes:

agent-irina-spalko

  • Although he’s been the brunt of jokes since the movie was announced, I haven’t heard one negative peep regarding Harrison Ford’s 66 years. What I have heard is that he is convincing, in amazing shape and looking good. There are plenty of photos now online and a full length trailer to support this. If you have yet to see the Indy 4 trailer, click through and do so. If you remotely enjoyed Indy films as a kid and you don’t get a massive chill – there is something very wrong with you. And actually, just frig off to go rent Atonement.

The days leading up to Indy 4 have me as optimistic as ever, but not blindly so – I realize that reviving the franchise almost 20 years after the Last Crusade can be accurately considered a fool’s errand. If the movie ends up stinking like a Nazi rotting in the hot sun, I won’t pretend that it doesn’t. My faith is strong, however. I haven’t seen or read anything that worries me. We’re coming off a year that saw both Rambo and Rocky come back and work. I still predict that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will see a 66 year-old Harrison Ford spearheading the largest grossing summer action movie in history. I’ve called my shot. Now I need to call my mother to come pick me up.

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See You in September

by Dave on April 22, 2008

in Heartwarming

Being invited to weddings is a good thing. You’ve done something right over the course of your life and been blessed with many friends. But is it too much to ask of all of my friends, many of whom don’t know each other and never will due to geography, to get together and space these things out a little bit?

My summer wedding total is now up to 4, count ’em – 4. And they are all in the month of September. I’m going to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and the executioner is going to be Williams Sonoma and Air Canada. Your wedding day is about me, afterall.

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Indiana Jones and the… Giant Ants?

by Dave on April 19, 2008

in Movies

I’ve been at rapt nerd attention when it comes to all things Indy 4, but I haven’t broken any hot news items or derived any potential plot spoilers from the available information myself. However, I think I just figured something out that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere yet so I’ll share it with you here first.

What do you get when you cross a National Geographic for Kids article which eludes to Indy and Mutt Williams running through the jungle being chased by “giant bugs”…

With track 16 on the unreleased soundtrack listing by John Williams entitled, “ANTS!”…

Presumably, something like this:

indy-4-ants

Did Indy and Mutt follow the giant ants upon Hagrid’s advice looking for Aragog? George. Steven. I’d like a word.

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Charlie Bit Me. And it Really Hurt

by Dave on April 17, 2008

in Heartwarming

Harry has just learned a valuable lesson from his younger, hungrier and far more sadistic brother, Charlie.


Having just spent my allotted writing time on a doozy over at my SEM Blog, I’m forced to fire off a quickie here on PITF. But it’s a doozy of a quickie – I haven’t laughed this hard at an annoying YouTube forward in a very long time. Trust me – watch it, laugh, and keep your extremities away from Charlie at all times.

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If you’ve never heard this song, yet recognize it immediately upon watching the video, there’s a very good reason. You’ve probably seen several little candy-coated chocolate treats dancing around while it plays in the background. That’s right, it’s the M&M song that everyone seems to like – yet no one has any clue who sings. I’m here today to help. And to eat a shitload of M&Ms.

If the current incarnation of the The The website is any indication, I think that Matt Johnson would rather be remembered for his political opinions and contributions than his music at this point. Why buy a The The record when you can get a George Bush countdown keychain, afterall? Sad. At one time, however, his music was a glorious thing. I saw the band once in 1990 on the Mind Bomb tour at the Orpheum in Boston when Johnny Marr was briefly part of the lineup. I saw them again at the Middle East in 1999 when they toured in support of NakedSelf. Hopefully I may even see them again some day if good old Matt can tear himself away from battling the evil Torys for five minutes.


This is the Day is off the band’s second album, Soul Mining, which is one of the great new wave albums, comprehensively. Giant, Uncertain Smile (the band’s best known song), The Sinking Feeling, The Twilight Hour – are all amazing songs and I still listen to them all the time. So forget the silly candy tie-ins and annoying moonbat leanings and enjoy the music. If I can do it, anyone can.

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Yes, it’s another Greek tasty, malaka. But Greek food is tasty and also happens to be my very favorite. If you want to write about the gross food that you dig, like pineapple pizza, get your own damn blog. I’m just throwing Hawaiian pizza out there because I think it’s the single most vulgar thing going that isn’t seafood.

Janet graciously reminded me it was Tuesday, suggested and IM’d me an idea (from the next room) and even offered to marinate the chicken. When my mother eventually yelled up the stairs “David, it’s almost 6pm and we’re starving” I stopped my all-important Scrabulous game and headed down to the kitchen. Sure enough, there was a bowl of poulet soaking in the fridge and I got right to work working my culinary magic.

The recipe Janet followed for the marinade is here, but I just shot from the hip. Not knowing Janet had brought some little skewers with her from Boston, I asked my mother if we had any and she told me to look behind a cabinet in the laundry room. There I found a pair so big they may have bee souvenirs from her days chumming on a Japanese whaling vessel. They may also have been designed for use on a BBQ. I fired up my beloved TFal and decided to put two orders on each skewer and get on with my life. I chopped up hunks of onion and green/yellow peppers and assembled the slimy shafts of souvlaki.

souvlaki

I found 4 good sized pieces of President’s Choice naan bread in the freezer and popped them into the oven on a cookie sheet at low heat. Then, while the kebabs sizzled I whipped together a reasonable Greek salad using kalamaata olives, peppers, lettuce, radicchio, broccoli and feta. I made sure to carefully flipping the meat regularly – as that was something I failed to do adequately last time. I got all the meat to a nice brown color, evenly cooked throughout. I then heated a pan and quickly grilled the naan bread a little before plating as I wanted it to be slightly crunchy and the oven alone hadn’t sufficed.

For presentation I filled half the plates with salad and laid the naan almost flat on the other half. I slowly slid the souvlaki off the skewers so that it would remain “shiskibobby” looking and not fall off every which way. Then I ran a tzatziki streak (which is not actually a Greek super hero,) parallel to the meat and veg. Finally, the magic was topped off with a dollop of tzatziki in the center of the kebabs with a kalamaata olive on top.

chicken-souvlaki

The Highlights

  • The fam-damily loved it. My Dad ate more of his dinner than I’ve seen him nosh in a long time.
  • The naan from Loblaws and the tzatziki from Costco might as well have been sent over from Crete.
  • I didn’t have to do the dishes

The Lowlights

  • Halfway through cooking I had to slide a few rungs off of each skewer, as the end pieces of the chicken weren’t cooking properly.
  • Could have definitely used some retsina as Operation: Garage aggravated my touchy back a little bit today.
  • Limited variety of vegetables on hand to skewer.

I’d call tonight’s tasty another success. It’s good to be 2 for 2, but I’ve yet to try anything really out of my comfort zone. If anyone has any recipes they’d like to share, please do so in the comments – as long as they don’t include sharkhead pizza. Have a peek at a few more mouthwatering photos.

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Operation: Garage

by Dave on April 15, 2008

in Canadiana

Last summer belonged to, and was largely defined by, Operation Bunkhouse. With a new year, however, must come a new… operation. I have a nemesis for the summer of 2008, and it is my cluttered garage. Same building, new floor, same lack of solid construction skill. I now announce, introduce and dread – Operation: Garage.

Step one was to clean off the back wall and consolidate everything over to one side, allowing for a large, long set of shelves to be built along the back wall. That was completed today. Step two involves me gathering my father’s once impressive collection of tools and other equipment into an organized semblance of… respect. He was once the handiest man in the world, and to look at his belongings strewn around in messy disrepair is one of the saddest parts of this whole… dementia “thing”.

operation-garage

So I’ll bring these items them out of the basement, out of the attic, out of their boxes, out of the storage bins, out of obscurity – then sort and catalog them using this new set of shelves as the blank template. Power tools go here, lawn tools and equipment go here, welders (and there are several) go here… you get the idea. And then from this new order will hopefully spring the realization of my “becoming reasonably handy” dream. Not having to try 4 different drills in 4 separate closets in 4 different corners of the property before finding one which actually works will likely increase the frequency of me picking up said drill. And maybe even becoming a little more like the father I miss so very much.

Here is the first collection of Operation: Garage photographs from this morning. If DIY / home improvement stuff is your bag you will also definitely enjoy Operation: Bunkhouse. I will now commence a little side operation I like to call Mission: Painful Pressboard Palm Splinter Removal.

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The Phoenix played host to one of the best double bills I’ve seen Wednesday night. Okkervil River technically opened for the New Pornographers, but both bands played power-packed sets that left my friends and the entire room more than… pornografied and okkervilled. The venue reminded me of the Paradise in Boston in the way that the main room is wider than longer, and no matter where you’re standing you have a great, close view.

new pornos okkervil

When we got to the front door of the venue one of my peeps had a camera cord hanging out of her back pocket. Although we were all packing cameras, no one was patting people down so she was the only one who got nicked. The indecisive and dodgy doorman held us to one side for almost 10 minutes before he finally agreed she could hide her battery outside and we’d be allowed to go in with the camera. Due to that incident and the many warnings he gave us, none of us took any pictures. Perhaps someone else who was there has posted something online I can use. I’m a bit miffed about this because we were very close to the stage and I could have gotten some doozy video.

Okkervil opened with The President’s Dead and their energy was immediately apparent as the drummer, sitting low and immediately beside lead singer Will Sheff, mouthed along with the words while pointing playfully at audience members with his drumsticks until his cue to start playing. About four songs in they played a fast and rocky version of my personal favorite, A Girl in Port, which I thoroughly dug. Their hour long set wrapped up with the awesome For Real and I was so satisfied I felt like it was time to go home. But things were really just getting started.

The NP’s casually took the stage with the house lights still up and the crowd went wild. The band, based in Vancouver, has an enormous following up here and are one of the biggest internationally-successful Canadian bands ever. When I saw them open for Belle and Sebastian at Avalon in 2006, band member Neko Case was not on the tour with them, so Wednesday night was a new experience for me. Sure enough they played my jam, Bones of an Idol, as well as Slow Descent into Alcoholism (which should be my jam), Bleeding Heart Show and all of the other staples. The highlight for me was actually a cover. They pulled off a thoroughly engrossing version of “Don’t Bring Me Down” by E.L.O and I will never look at that song the same way again. I loved it and it was a perfect encore.

It’s been a long while since I’ve been to a concert, or to the T-Dot, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. Well worth the drive to Toronto. We hit a gay strange bar after the show and the night ended on a very bizarre note for a variety of reasons, but it was a wonderful break nonetheless. Janet and I worked at Jason and Amy’s dining room table all day yesterday and I walked Marj down to Duff’s on Bayview for a take out lunch from my Mecca, Duff’s. When the veritable Vendittis got home we then we capped the trip off with a delicious dinner at Zucca before driving back East and getting into Portland around 12:30 am.

Now it’s Friday morning, my internet is down and I am writing this post in a notepad file until I hopefully upload it at a later time. I had planned to spend the weekend repairing and staining all the sections of our dock so they’re in tip-top shape to be installed in a couple of weeks when it warms up some more, but at this rate I’ll be inside on the computer catching up. Wicked. I’m rambling. Good concert and I missed my puppies.

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Short one today, folks, as my sister and I are driving 6 hours to see New Pornographers and Okkervil river in Toronto tonight. 3 hours there and 3 hours back tomorrow – so hardly a big deal – but I am cramming to get work done so I’ll have to ‘peace out’. Here’s NP playing one of my favorites, “Bones of an Idol”, at Lollapalooza back in 2006 on the Twin Cinema tour. Have a look at the lyrics, as they’re hard to make out here, and tell me if I’m wrong in my assumption that this song is about none other than my favorite adventurer, Dr. Henry Jones Jr…

You hold up the cup
You’ve been searching for
Since you were young
When you still had the bones of an idol
If you still had the bones of an idol
You’d be long long gone
But something keeps turning you on


I saw the band open for Belle and Sebastian myself in 2006 in Boston, and tonight it’s another amazing double pornoish bill at the Phoenix Theatre in the T-Dot. Read my earlier Wadio about A Girl in Port if you’re into the Okkervils – and I’ll see you tomorrow with photos and a couple of new concert t-shirts. Because that’s what I do.

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mintlogoThere’s no reason for me to be singing the praises of Mint.com today other than a friend told me about it, I kicked the tires on it and it’s an excellent – and very free – personal finance tool.

Do you have online bank account access that you check frequently? Then you’ll have a username and password. Simply register at mint, select your institution (financial, not mental) and then plug in your login info. Lickety-split all your transactions are imported, categorized, etc. You can pull in any online checking, brokerage, credit card or savings account and have them all right in front of you on one very slick dashboard which can be customized.

See your assets and debt at a glance, set goals, arrange email and mobile alerts – I love this. I just called my accountant to get the login info for another account that I have as I’m going to bring absolutely everything under this one roof so I can create a one-stop-shop for peeping my entire papes profile. Could this be the dawn of a new era of responsible spending and financial management for Dave? I’ll let you know if any pigs fly past my office window.

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