07 May 2011

Tough Break

Another Flyers season has come and gone and once again has left us fans with more questions than answers.  After reaching down and pulling together with grit and determination to come back and beat the Buffalo Sabres in Games 6 and 7 to take the first round series, the Flyers basically phoned in the effort the rest of the way.  Aside from Game 2 against the Bruins, they were never really in it.  Mike Richards, as team captain, did not step up and give the guys any sort of jump start as he has been known to do.  There were times when it looked like he had somewhere else that he'd rather be.  As a fan it was tough to watch, mainly because there were such high hopes for the team since even before the season started.  The obvious question though was going to surround the goaltending and whether or not it would be strong enough to endure a deep Stanley Cup run.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they stumbled upon a rookie, Sergei Bobrovsky, who looked as though he was going to be the savior for Flyers hockey and the years of goaltending worries.  He had a brilliant first half of the season, where at times he looked like a 10 year veteran that could strap the team on his shoulders and carry them to Stanley Cup glory.  Down the stretch though, it looked as though he was starting to show his inexperience and the Flyers started to fall with him.  That inconsistency plagued both the goaltending and the Flyers as a team and as a result they found themselves ousted from the playoffs, leaving us with our 5 favorite words as Philadelphians... "Well, there's always next year."

There were some bright spots amidst all of that though.  In his sophomore year with the Flyers, James van Riemsdyk showed that he does have the ability to become what the Flyers scouting team saw when they drafted him 4 years ago.  He showed an ability to use his strength and speed to go to the outside on a defender and then use his size to make his way back to the front of the net.  For the first time in these playoffs, I finally thought that maybe, just maybe, JVR wouldn't turn out to be a bust.  Another bright spot was the play of Claude Giroux.  Now, this isn't that surprising because we all know how talented he is.  There was only one thing that essentially stopped Giroux from becoming a playoff legend in Philadelphia, and that was the Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas.  In each game against Boston, Giroux made something out of nothing time and time again, creating scoring chances on ridiculous 1 on 3 efforts and making precision passes to guys that half of the fans in attendance didn't even see.  What will keep us and the national media from remembering his effort is the lack of finish on those plays.  Thanks to brilliant saves by Thomas, Giroux's wizardry with the puck will go largely unnoticed.  The good news is that he will be with this team for years to come and I am looking forward to that.  And then there is Sergei Bobrovsky.  Remember, this was his first year in the NHL so there is definitely something to build on there.  He has the talent, the quickness and the athleticism to become a top goalie in this league.  He wore down a bit at the end, but that was also the most minutes he has played in a single season ever.  While playing in Russia, his previous high for minutes played was 1,964.  In his first season with the Flyers he played 3,017 minutes.  That's a significant increase for someone who wasn't used to getting that kind of playing time.  Hopefully, Bob will learn from this season, work on his fundamentals and his conditioning and come back strong next year.

Thanks Flyers for another year of playoff hockey.  Let's do it again next year.

So, with the end of the Flyers hockey season, that leaves Phillies baseball as the main focus.  The Phils look strong again this year and hopefully when Chase Utley comes back, he will return to his All-Star form and really put this team in a position to win another championship.

But, that'll be a topic for another day...

Song on iTunes:
Incubus | Adolescents

28 April 2011

More Photoshoppy Goodness

Well, after producing those remakes of classic movie posters, I decided to take a shot at the next photoplasty subject on Cracked.  This being: Classic movie scenes that were ruined by product placement.  I immediately thought up a couple of ideas that really didn't take all that long to produce.  So here goes:

.Indiana Jones.

Indiana Jones and his encounter with Adolf Hitler in The Last Crusade was the first idea that I came up with and essentially only took 3 minutes to do.

I still chuckle to myself when I look at it... is that wrong?


The bus jumping over the 50 foot gap in the road in the movie Speed came to mind a little while later and I knew that there had to be something that I could put on the side of the bus that would make it somewhat amusing.  The words "Wanna Get Away?" popped into my head and there you go.  Enjoy as always.

Song on iTunes:
Foo Fighters | Rope

23 April 2011

Photoshop Fun

It's been a while since I've posted so I figured that I'd check in and share a few things that I have been working on and whatnot.  As part of my daily ritual, I like to peruse through articles on Cracked.com  If you've never seen this website, I highly recommend you check it out.  In any event, every week the website hosts an open forum to all members to submit Photoshop projects that fit a given topic.  Usually the site will present 3 topics to choose from and you can submit as many times as you like.  This was the first week that I had actually taken some time to submit a couple of pieces.  The topic of choice was as follows:  If Classic Movies Were Remade by Michael Bay.  Bay of course is the pyrotechnic enthusiast who directed such films as Transformers 1 & 2, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys, and of course Armageddon.  If you give Bay a subject matter he'll find a way to blow it up.  With this in mind I selected two movie posters to remake, Michael Bay style.  My goal is to at least crack the top 10 with one of these submissions when they finally post the article.  Personally, I think Old Yeller is my favorite.  Enjoy.

.Old Yeller.

Both classic movies and I'm pretty sure that Mr. Bay would enjoy exacting Yeller's revenge on an unsuspecting suburban town while simultaneously demolishing most of Morocco.

Song on iPod:
Puscifer | Potions

11 April 2011

Softball Sunday = Sore on Monday

It was a nice day on Sunday.  In the neighborhood of 60 degrees or so, with the sun shining.  The outdoors were calling me and as luck would have it, some people from work were having a day of softball at a local field so I went ahead and played along.  I did a little prep work, some loosening up stretches, a little long toss with a couple of the guys and even a few practice swings of the bat.  Keeping in mind that it was just a friendly game with 5 players on each team, I was ready to go.  For those of you scratching your head as to how we could field teams with just 5 players, it's easy.  The right side of the diamond was foul territory and force outs were thrown to the pitcher on the mound, not all the way to first base.  Problem solved.  Now back to the game...

We were up to bat first and wasted little time getting on the score board.  A few base hits ahead of me gave me a runner in scoring position and a carefully placed ground ball through the infield from myself plated the first run of the game.  1-0 after 1 inning.  After that, there wasn't much action going.  A few no nonsense innings in the books and then a few misplays in the field and we found ourselves trailing in the game 2-1.  After failing to mount a comeback in the final innings, we were forced to admit defeat.  However, a nice day and a great group of people made the day worth while and fun was had by all.  There was even a point in the middle innings where I found myself sliding into second base to try to beat a throw.  As it turned out, the throw never actually came to second and I was left with a pretty nice scrape/welt on my right leg.  I had originally thought to myself that if it came down to it, I wasn't going to slide, seeing as it was a friendly game and all... but somewhere along the way from first to second, my old baseball instincts took over and as it looked as though there might be a play at the base, I dropped into a standard popup slide like I had been doing it for years.  Oh well, it's just a flesh wound.

Anyway, it was good to be outside and getting some exercise on a really nice day.  I must admit though, today I'm paying for it.  Aside from the bruise on the leg that is still sore, my hips and back are really suffering.  You tend to forget all about the muscles you use while swinging the bat until after it's all over.  I'm pretty sure that if I were to drop something on the floor, it would just stay there for right now, because picking it up may be dangerous.

I hope that there are a few more organized events like this at work, because it seems like there are a good group of people that would come out and could be a lot of fun.  I was trying to lobby for a pick-up roller hockey game, but I'm not sure I could make it happen... we'll see.

Time for more Motrin.

Current Song on Pandora:
Puscifer | Revelation 22:20

06 April 2011

Ready for Spring

This flip-flopping weather is really driving me nuts.  Yesterday morning I was on my way to work and it felt like it was muggy and warm to the point where I didn't even need a jacket.  I was comfortable in just a t-shirt.  When I left work at 7, it was like the arctic winds had finally made it to Philadelphia and were waiting for me on the otherside of the Boulevard.  It was friggin cold.  I am definitely ready for some consistently warm weather.  And it doesn't even have to be 80s warm, but 70 degrees with some sun and a very light breeze would be super.  Time for breakfast.  Enjoy hump day everyone.

Song on iPod:
Silverchair | Mind Reader

31 March 2011

Play Ball!

Today is my third day of training at the new jobby job and so far things are going pretty well.  It seems like it's going to be a really awesome place to work and I'm getting along with the rest of the pharmacy team as well.  I am a little disappointed about the rain though...kinda puts a dash of misery on the day. Boooo!

On an unrelated matter, it's Opening Day for Major League Baseball today!  This could be the best time of the year to be a Philadelphia sports fan.  On one hand you've got the Flyers, who are favorites to head back to the Stanley Cup Finals, with just 6 games to go before the playoffs get under way.  And on the other, you've got the Phillies who, on paper, have what could be the greatest pitching lineup that has ever been assembled.  Now, the Phillies don't actual play their first game until tomorrow afternoon, but it still gives me the chills thinking about the season to come.  It should be exciting to watch.

Play ball!

Song on iPod:
Incubus | Echo

25 March 2011

Done. Done. And I'm on to the next one.


The days go by fast.  The only thing we know for sure is that tomorrow will be not be today.

Song on iPod:
Nine Inch Nails | The Collector

23 March 2011

Mmm Oranges.

.orange tree.

I was walking back from a meeting tonight and started kicking an orange around as I walked.  Relax, it wasn't my orange.  It did accomplish two things though.

a | It brought a vision of a non-traditional orange tree to my head.
b | It made me hungry for oranges.

No oranges.  Damn.

Canned peaches will do.

Song on iPod:
AFI | Ever and A Day

22 March 2011

A Good Night

I got home not too long ago from having dinner with my sister.  It was something that was long overdue and we had one of those talks that really made me happy that she's part of my life.  I hope that she knows (and I know she's reading this) how much that means to me.  Thank you, Snotface.  (Don't worry...she'll get it!)

Song on iPod:
A Perfect Circle | The Outsider

21 March 2011

Tool...what else??


More often than not, Tool finds its way on to my iPod playlist and I doubt that there has ever been a time where I've skipped to the next song when that's happened.

Today, Forty Six & 2 came on.  It just stuck with me for the better part of the day and images started rolling through and essentially this is what came out.

I paid homage to the song by added a lyric at the bottom, one that really hits home, as well as creating a silhouette of the man who delivers said lyric with perfection, MJK.

| forty six and two are just ahead of me |

Current Song on iPod:
Tool | Reflection

19 March 2011



Inspired by the book that I had previously mentioned, Generation A.

I haven't finished it yet, not even close, but it's got me thinking about bees.


Current Song on iPod:
Ashes Divide | Enemies

18 March 2011

Summer Teaser

Gorgeous day here today.  76⁰ outside and it's still March...this I could get used to.  I decided to take advantage of the weather today.  I found my way down to Center City, with a few job prospects that I was following up with on the agenda, so I took care of that first.  I wandered around a little while, checking different places and such, before I decided that I needed a break.  Coincidentally, I had found my way over to a Barnes and Noble and figured that I would go in there and check to see if they had a book there that I had wanted to read.  I used to read more often, but slowly gave that up over the course of time and have come to realize that it's something I enjoy and should really make an effort to get back to it.

Into the bookstore I go and I make my way up to the 3rd floor, where they keep the good stuff.  Ahh, there it is, only one copy left and it's mine!  Generation A by Douglas Coupland.  I've read a number of books by D.C. and I consider him to be one of my favorite authors, if not my number one all by himself.  He's got a really creative writing style and a unique way of interweaving different characters together.  $15+ tax and I'm out the door.

With my new book in hand, I made my way over to Rittenhouse Square, where there was a surplus of people, all of whom are taking advantage of the randomly warm weather as if it may never have come back again.  There were people walking dogs, people singing, dancing, hula-hooping, playing guitar, basking in the sunlight, reading in the shade and basically just happy to be there.  So was I.

Today was a good day and look forward to more of those to come.

Last song on iPod:
Linkin Park | The Catalyst

17 March 2011

Olives anyone?


Did you ever get the impression that when you were stabbing an olive with one of those little cocktail spears, it was smiling at you?


Yeah, me neither.  I was just asking.

Current Song on iPod:
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Red Right Hand

16 March 2011

Red or Blue?

Another experiment staying consistent with the style I have been working with over the last few days.

I kinda like the ghosty layer floating around the background a bit.  A simple effect, but not without its subtleties.

It seems I am partial to red these days.  Typically, blues would normally be the direction I would head, but for reasons unknown I've been gravitating towards reds.

| I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing.  Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill? |

I chose the red.

Current song on iPod:
Tool | Pushit

Just Go

I had to pee in a cup today.  That was exciting.  Just another step in the hiring process of a company I am interested in.  Or, they are interested in me... or both.  It was the first time that I had ever had to take a drug test and while I wasn't worried about the outcome, it was more the fact that once I got there...I couldn't go.  I drank an entire SoBe Life Water on the way and had 3 cups of water while sitting in the waiting room.  Nothing.  Of course, I was welcome to sit in the waiting area until I "felt the urge" so I sat there and watched the end of a movie they had playing.  They had on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.  How ironic.

So, I started trying not to think about it, figuring that if I just concentrated on something else, it'd work itself out.  Naturally, as my mind often does, I started thinking about the Seinfeld episode where Elaine has to pass a drug test in order to accompany Mr. Peterman to Africa.  (Isn't it funny how every situation in life can be referenced by Seinfeld?) She inadvertently ate some poppyseed muffins before she had to give her urine sample, which led to her testing positive for opium.  She admits that it was the poppyseeds in the muffin and Peterman lets her take a "pop-urine test" to try again.  This time she had eaten a very small amount of chicken at Jerry's apartment which apparently contained some poppyseeds.  Now, I would think that it would take an awful lot of those seeds to really show up on the test, but it's television... anything is possible!  This thought process inevitably led to what I had eaten before I had to whiz into a plastic cup.  I mentioned the SoBe drink, which was Apple Pear.  Clean.  Jolly Ranchers.  Clean.  Blueberry Pop-Tarts.  Clean.  Ok then, I think I'm good to go.

Alright.  Enough is enough already.  I was getting tired of waiting, so I just decided to tell the girl at the desk that I was ready to give it a shot.  So I went and that was that.  However, now that I am home, all of that water that I drank in preparation is making a charge.  So what's the lesson here kids?  I'm not really sure there is one, but I'm glad it's over.

Currently listening to:
Tool | Opiate

15 March 2011

Another extraction from the iNoodle

Just some more tooling around with one of the few usable photos that I actually have of myself at the moment.

There really isn't any hidden meaning here.  Nothing that was intentional anyway.

I like the direction the style is heading though.  I'll have to try to fine tune it and work with different subject matter.  More objects, less people.

I dig.



The Unbearable Lightness of Bean.

Poor kitty:

Well, it was only a matter of time and today was that day.  The family cat, Kali, was put to rest today after almost 19 years of ankle biting and sleeping under the covers.  It wasn't exactly a surprise, I mean he had been sick for a while, not to mention deaf and going blind.  18+ years is a pretty long time for a cat though...it's amazing he lived as long as he did.  I'm pretty sure that he never really liked me much, which is bizarre, because most cats do.  It's good to know that he's not suffering anymore.

Just listened to: Mad World - performed by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews

14 March 2011

A Monday night expression...

.Inside out.
So, I decided to tinker around with Illustrator and Photoshop for a little while tonight, just to see what would come out on screen.  As for today, I'm satisfied with it...but I know how that goes...I'll see what I think about it tomorrow.

It was done, first by creating vector art in Illustrator, then adding a little character in Photoshop.  I may have gotten a little filter happy, but it was necessary to accomplish the effect.

Hopefully the first of many...

Hello, and welcome to movie phone.

About a week ago or so, I was having dinner with some family and we were talking about movies.  My Dad had mentioned that he had seen a list online of the top 10 Guy movies of all time.  Now, this was obviously an unofficial list, just some random guys take on the subject.  Naturally, he couldn't remember the entire list, however it did spark a discussion at the table.  Pretty soon the question was thrown to me as to what my top 10 movies would look like.  My response was that this was not going to be a question that I would be able to answer on the spot.  Movies are organic.  The meanings of some movies change depending on the period of your life that you watch them in.  Some movies have more watchability than others, meaning that I can watch them over and over again.  Take The Sixth Sense for example.  When I watched it in the theater when it originally came out, I thought it was excellent.  Very well done.  I was definitely compelled to watch it over again to see the movie in a new light, and see what I missed the first time around.  After the second time though, that was it.  I believe that since the movie came out in 1999, those are the only two times I have ever watched it.  I just don't feel as though I would be entertained watching it again, even 12 years later.

With that said, here's a list of my top 10 favorite movies, and outside of the top 3 the rest are in no particular order.

1) Fight Club (1999) - This has been my favorite movie since the day I walked out of the theater the first time I saw it.  There was something about this movie that really blew me away.  The story, the characters, and even David Fincher's direction left me in awe.  Clear cut number one in my book.

2) Inception (2010) - It had been 11 years since Fight Club was crowned my favorite movie of all time and Inception was the first to really give it a run for the money.  The idea was one that I had never seen, coupled with tremendous visual effects and extremely likable characters across the board.

3) The Bourne Trilogy (2002-2007) - Absolute non stop, kick ass action that I could watch any given time on any given day.  I am actually holding out hope that they find a way to make a fourth installment.

4) The Dark Knight (2008) - It's Batman finally done right.  Well, Batman Begins was entertaining too, but this effort went far and beyond.

5) The Usual Suspects (1995) - There is something to say about how a story is told.  I've got news for you...even I'm afraid of Keyser Soze.

6) The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - It wasn't flashy and it didn't win any awards, but it's a movie that I almost always watch when I am at home with a cold or something.  Always entertaining for me.

7) The Matrix (1999) - I was left in awe by the special effects when I watched the movie for the first time.  11 years later, I still find myself attracted to the story and genuinely entertained every time I watch it.

8) Heat (1995) - I have always liked this movie.  There's no mystery, no deeper meaning, just straight good guys vs bad guys... and you can't help but root for the bad guys.

9) Office Space (1999) - I have never worked in a cubicle, but find myself quoting this movie again and again.  Classic.

10) Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) - This was the first of two very similar movies done by Guy Ritchie.  Snatch. was the second.  Oddly enough, it wasn't until I watched Snatch. that I went back and watched Lock, Stock.  I suppose it could have been a toss up as to which of the two movies made it into my top 10, but more often than not, given the choice of the two I would undoubtedly choose this one.  Very well done.

So there it is.  I feel like I could have made a top 40 and still left some out.  I guess honorable mentions would have to go to: The Hangover, Gladiator, Indiana Jones, Star Wars (episodes 4-6), Se7en, and Sideways.

That's all for right now, I'll check back in later.


What the blog?

Well, this should be interesting.  I've never really used a blog before, nor have I really been one to regularly contribute to other blogs as well.  However, I've reached a turning point in my life and feel as though I need to make some changes and start trying to do some things differently.  This may just prove to be a single serving therapy session or who knows, maybe someone out there will start reading along with me.  The point is that this year is going to be about positive life changes and moving forward.  More to come...

Last song listened to today:
Snow Patrol - Disaster Button