Monday, March 31, 2008

Stranger in a Strange Land

How the hell did Stranger in a Strange Land never get made into a movie or a miniseries? It sold extremely well. It had nerds and hippies clamoring for placement of the book in their hall of fame. It had sex, the future, space travel, aliens, religion and philosophical issues all wrapped into one package. Some of the futuristic predictions/references by Heinlein have sort of come true. It's timeless because he never puts a datestamp on anything. A producer could use the uncut edition and string out two full length movies of it or a nice HBO miniseries.

Heinlein was writing in the midst of space exploration, the changing of American mores and social norms, and the Cold War. When I read his novels, I find his type of science fiction to be more speculative fiction. Stranger in a Strange Land (SISL) has many elements that are purely fantasy, but when he describes say the development & history of a colony on the Moon in one novel, or how the government and a corporation would pick the first astronauts to Mars in SISL, it feels authentic. The intense advertising and consumer culture depicted in this book do not feel so far fetched when you look around today.

Central to the book is Heinlein's depcition of the 'alien' brought back from Mars. It is actually a man born on Mars from the first flight crew 20 years later. Born a human in an alien culture and then returned home to be an alien in 'his' society, Valentine Michael Smith is a rich character. The character grows, changes and develops in a well paced fashion. I would have loved to read more about Mike in his mature stage. Heinlein's aliens not only look different but have completely different ideas of time, space, value, etc. They are not as humanoid as most aliens are in sci fi novels. I praise that portrait of aliens as well as the portrait of aliens who do not do things we would deem good or acceptable. The aliens are not shown as superior or inferior to humans. In newer sci fi novels, it always seems like the authors are making some dumb ass multiculturalism point to show them either as superior to humans or inferior. In the instance where they are shown as inferior, it is usually because they exhibit some feature of a certain human group (Nzis) and are driven to eradicate/battle anyone they meet. I like to think that aliens might already know about us and are choosing to avoid us. If you have not read SISl, please check it out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Prequels in My Head: Prequel 1

Ok here goes, this is my vision for the Star Wars Prequels. There are a couple of storylines to run with: 1. the story arc for Anakin 2. the fall of the Republic 3. the destruction of the Jedi 4. the love story. Some of them tie together in my mind. I consider Anakin's fall as the big piece of the destruction of the Jedi. These are just outlines, but here's my point, how the heck did Lucas waste entire movies not showing Anakin becoming powerful and then becoming bad.

Episode 1

Background: The galaxy has that used look to it. Things are not going well and the Republic is dealing with systems wanting to shoot off on their own. The Jedi are assigned to systems and worlds to act as mediators in disputes or additional war advisors, leaders, commandos, ninja like guys. Older Jedi are used as force multipliers and battle mediation in big battles and to teach younger Jedi in the apprentice mode. Younger Jedi act as knights in battle, not quasi-God figures. This is a blatant rip off of medieval times or the samurai idea with Knights and their apprentices.

Story

A major system is trying to break off from the Republic and bring with it smaller systems that supply it some basics. Obi Wan Kenobi and his peer Qui Gon Jin are sent to help the local Jedi try to retain influence and help the Republic forces battling irregulars. There's some battles to show the Jedi kick butt. Obi Wan ends up tracking a ship that is gunrunning and smuggling goods for the irregulars. Despite their Jedi mind tricks, they can't dissuade the pilot from getting through. This would be a space flight scene for popcorn fun. Obi Wan mind locks onto this pilot, and the other Jedi end up busting up the shipment and meet up with the pilot. The pilot is Anakin Skywalker. Skywalker fights and flies for whomever pays the best. Anakin joins the Jedi in a ground battle, and Obi Wan notices how Anakin never misses with his aim. During a lull, Obi Wan and Qui Gon explain to him the Force and how Anakin is unknowingly using it to aim in the heat of battle. They do some small Force "lift up rock special effect gimmick" practice with him.

Back at the galaxy center, the future Emperor is just a political figure who is arguing for more forceful application of weapons, men and Jedi. Yoda and Samuel L. Jedi are brought in to represent the Jedi and offer solutions. Their take on it: The Republic is crumbling from too many people wanting a say in how the galaxy should be run. Wants to go back to ways of regional and planetary control, sending Jedi as advisors and guardians rather than warriors. Samuel L. explains that too much power in the hands of the star fleet or the Jedi can be corrupting. He knows as he once went down the dark path (see? a cool, formerly conflicted and now reformed Jedi). Obi Wan contacts Yoda with news of finding a new student for the Force. He talks of sending him to Yoda to train.

Another battle causes the Jedi to meet up with the System's pro-Republic leaders. One of these is hot, space love interest, Amidala. While meeting with her people, the Jedi figure out through meditation that this system is doomed to breakway but they must get this woman out of there as she is an important and uncertain piece of the future. Then there is the chase getaway scene planetside with the guys and Amidala breaking out, a retreat by the Republic and of course, an awesome flight escape scene to showcase Anakin's pilot ability and new Force control. Obi Wan then offers to take Anakin in as a student in the Force, to which Anakin agrees on the ship.

Obi Wan meets with Yoda at galaxy center to discuss Anakin. Yoda is upset Obi Wan wants to take him in as a student since Obi Wan has never trained another Jedi on his own. Obi Wan goes forward with it. Qui Gon tells Yoda and other Jedi that he sensed 'bad Jedi" juju on that planet during battle. Wants to investigate further. Montage of Jedi training with Obi Wan and Anakin on some planet. This should convey the passage of time like it has been months. Maybe Obi Wan grows the beard during this montage. Show Qui Gon flying to a different system, talking to locals, sensing for bad Jedi but seeming one step behind at each stop. Time has definitely elapsed. Back at Obi Wan's pad, Amidala is there so you can have interaction between her and the guys. The guys use Force tricks around her for lame flirting. Throughout this, Obi Wan is the polite, good guy, Anakin is the wise guy, show off. Obi Wan gets communication from Qui Gon that he has tracked bad Jedi juju to a system. Obi Wan and Anakin take off to meet up with him and help.

Back in galaxy center, Republic realizes that they are spread too thin to fight & hold the breakaway systems. The future Emperor gets his way and clones are ordered and a more aggressive fight is taken to the systems. Communication comes back of another system breaking away. Republic sends Jedi there with starships for a fight. Obi Wan and Anakin get into system and once in, alerts go up all around them for a possible invasion by the Republic. They meet up with Qui Gon who explains that the bad Jedi juju is on the planet and he traced it to some figure meeting with the govt. The invasion/declaration of independence must be tied together with the bad Jedi. They stalk this figure. Qui Gon instructs Anakin to follow leaders as "Jedi representative", and they will corner this bad Jedi. Back at galaxy center, Yoda and Samuel L. Jedi wonder why so many Jedi were sent to this battle.
Final action sequence that has space battle as Republic ships must breach system defenses and space ships and ground battle of Qui Gon/Obi Wan vs. bad Jedi. Lots of space battle special effects. Something quite obvious must be made of a ship carrying the Jedi Force multipliers & knights being attacked far more ferociously than anything else early and destroyed. Anakin meets with leaders and has dull conversation. During the conversation have some kind of cool audio dubbing so that it sounds like what the character is thinking as if Anakin were going through his mind like going through a file cabinet. He figures out that bad Jedi has offered protection and influence of his power and his master's power over the battle if they breakaway from the Republic. Qui Gon and Obi Wan have lightsaber battle with bad Jedi (I envision the excellent lightsaber battle from Episode 1). One major difference. Anakin traces back to them and witnesses bad Jedi knock out Obi Wan and kill Qui Gon. Anakin then starts using Force to throw objects at bad Jedi. Some of this is anger and some fear. Obi Wan gets back with it and kills bad Jedi as he is distracted by Anakin's Force projectiles. Instantly, space battle shifts in favor of Republic, they smash defenses and await in orbit response from govt. Planet surrenders authority back to Republic.

Scene where Anakin, Obi Wan and Yoda talk of the bad Jedi, this dark master (might it be Samuel L.), the dead, good Jedi, and the battle demands placed more and more on the Jedi. They both talk to Anakin about his dabbling into the darker side of the Force with how he used aggression after seeing Qui Gon die. There is an exchange of how tempting and easy it is to slip down that path for power. Montage of: Clones being grown in tubes, Republic starts sending out clones for battles, and a garrison is set up on that breakaway planet at the end, showing how militarism is creeping into Republic's ways, Obi Wan and Anakin flying back doing Force practice moves & return back to his planet/pad for training and give the big hugs/smiles exchange with Amidala (dressed like above picture).


The End.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bond Girls

Huge Bond fan here. Giant Bond fan. I can't watch a Bond film without doing my Connery impersonation for 2 hours straight. This annoys the wife. Favorite Bond: the Roger Moore version. He played it with a sense of humor and was smooth. Best Bond: Timothy Dalton. Icy cold secret agent. The scripts for his movies were awful, and he had the unfortunate job of being the 2nd choice at the time when Pierce Brosnan could not get out of his Remington Steele contract. I kid you not. Favorite Bond Film: You Only Live Twice. This is the basis for the Austin Powers satire of Bond films. Ridiculous ninja stuff involved. Best Bond film: On her Majesty's Secret Service. Hands down the best love story, solid chase scenes, and great performances all around. A lot of the Bond films are cheesey, but the deliver what you want in an action film: explosions, great action scenes, babes, and bad guys getting busted.

One aspect of Bond movies that I truly love are the horribly delightful names the writers give the Bond Girls. Great eye candy, but the names just send it to a new level. My Bond Girl post will not have hot chick photos in it. Not here. Bond women are usually classy dames that you would drink expensive liquor with and they would wear French perfume and lots of weird clothing. They might stab you int he back if you cross them. They can be tough and they can be femme. It's perfect to infect teenage viewers with an idea that when they grow up women will be like this. Let's break it down into best names and personal favorites for talents.

Best Bond Girl Names

Honorable Mentions: Honey Rider; this is a great name to give for table reservations. Dr. Molly Warmflash; this is so incredibly dumb that I don't think they actually say the name in the film. I think it's just in the script.

5. Octopussy - Now this was just atrocious. Yet, when you watch the terrible action film, you have to laugh whenever you hear them say Octopussy. It kicks the entire film into a new stratosphere of comedy.
4. Domino Derval - If I ever met anyone named Domino, I would automatically think they were cool. It is such an awesome name. I wish we had named our cat Domino (he's black and white). How did they name a female character Domino? Great choice by the writers and producers to do something different.
3. Dr. Holly Goodhead - Astronaut/scientist from Moonraker. I think I've been in men's clubs and heard "Next up on stage, guyyyyys put your hands to-geth-er for Doc-terrrr Good-head".
2. Dr. Christmas Jones - This was Denise Richards' nuclear physicist character. First, someone that stupid playing a nuclear scientist is too much to handle. Throw in Christmas as a first name, and you can't help but laugh whenever she is on screen. I have to ask, why not give her the last name of Hannukah or Easter? This also created one of my favorite Bond lines of all time. Post coital talk between Bond and Christmas inspires "I thought Christmas only comes once a year".
1. Pussy Galore - In Bond's words, "Poosee Galore? I must be dreaming". Could they get this past censors now?

Favorite Bond Girls

Honorable Mention: The Japanese duo from You Only Live Twice. People who love comedy films recognize these two women as the lead females in the classic "What's up Tiger Lily?". Fantastic movie. When I first saw it, I laughed out loud at knowing they were huge stars in Japan who were selected to be in the Bond film set in Japan. It was like a badge of honor.

5. The duo from Man with the Golden Gun - Mary Goodnight/Britt Ekland and Andrea Anders/Maud Adams. In oen scene, Bond (Roger Moore version) is getting frisky with Mary Goodnight. When Anders walks in, he tosses Goodnight into the closet. He gets down with Anders, and then goes back to Goodnight. Top notch quality in this film.
4. Xenia Onatopp - Famke Janssen. Tough broad. Bad girl. Really bad Russian accent. Killed people with her thigh squeeze during sex. Famke Janssen is pretty lame, but I give her props for this role. She played it with tongue firmly in cheek. Killed people during sex.
3. Agent XXX - Barbara Bach. Damn. This was what I hoped would be on the other side of the Iron curtain when I was a kid. In reality, it was not far from the truth. It is a secret shared by many American college kids who study abroad in Europe but the guideline is "the further east you go, the prettier the girls, and then you hit Russia and all bets are off".
2. Honey Rider - Ursula Andress. The first shot, where she walks out of the water, is burned in many men's minds. It is so iconic that it has been spoofed and reproduced but never duplicated.
1. Pussy Galore - She fought Bond quite a bit, but then turned ont he bad guy. That laid the groundwork for every other "bad guy's girlfriend" in every other Bond film. Bonus points for the Pussy Galore character in the Ian Fleming books being a lesbian crime boss from Harlem.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Antartica

Having completed Apsley Cherry-Garrard's masterpiece of adventure, The Worst Journey in the World, I have many different thoughts raging through my head. First, is it not amazing that I could hyperlink in the actual book on that Google book share thing. Is this copyright lawbreaking by Google? No, they would never do that. Actually, my first thought is just how far we as human civilization have come in the fields of science, medicine, nutrition, transportation, dog handling, and countless other fields. It truly is amazing that we have the common knowledge that a lack of vitamin C causes scurvy, yet many scientists and doctors of that day did not know vitamin c or know that deficiency in it is what caused scurvy. Scurvy killed some of these guys. There are so many simple wonders that we take for granted. Maybe it is that some many small miracles happen that we see them as commonplace and fail to see them for what they truly are. That should not distract me from analyzing the actual predicament of adventuring in the Southern Polar region in 1910.

One of my raging thoughts is how in the world did the British government put up money for this, but did not require Scott to outline his ideas and at least map out some details of his plans. This might have fixed some of his transportation issues. Scott is often criticzed for how he muddled up the transportation on their journeys by bringing different forms, that when you read about them, even you, the reader on the warm couch, know it is a stupid idea. Someone would have called him on that. The food rations would have been called into question, because the government never wants one of its folks to die. Think of the national tragedy that this caused when these guys did die. The government gave him some money and trusted him. I like that idea, but bouncing ideas off other people never hurts.
Another thought I have is how in the world do you decide to use ponies as your mode of transport and then do not send a horse expert to buy your ponies, which means you get substandard and old ponies?
One more is how do you pack rations for your meals and pack a lot of chocolate and cocoa? Besides Gramma's house, when has chocolate been a part of a balanced diet?
If I were to trim down the list of bad decisions by Scott, I would make the following list:
5. Seriously, why bring so much chocolate? I can understand wanting a lot of calories in a food item that can keep, but why not nuts of some sort? This seemed like a waste of space on their boat and in their packs.
4. Using ponies for transport and not having the horse expert select them. I would have stuck with dogs because I don't know, dogs have thick fur! Jesus, for hundreds of years Northern peoples have used dogsledding to travel over snow and ice. How many use ponies?!?!?! Is their an Idiot-arod for pony-sledding.
3. The rations seemed a bit lean. Worse yet is when you look at what 12 oz. of this (biscuits) or that (pemmican) equals on your plate. This was a daily allowance. When you read the book, you see their rations and then think about the miles they haul equipment over through blizzards and wonder how they did not die sooner. I read this book under the assumption that biscuits mean biscuits like Americans envision and not "cookies" like they mean to Brits. If all this time I was reading about British explorers eating cookies and chocolate on their exploration of the South Pole, I would ask if their provision purchaser were a 5 year old.
2. When they laid out the depots the first year, Scott did not travel the extra 35 miles like he intended and set up the "One Ton Depot". He shortened theur trip to save more ponies. They lost 6 of the 8 ponies anyway by the time they got back. So for two ponies, he sacrificed 35 miles. In the end, he and the remaining 2 polar explorers died 11 miles from their "One Ton Depot". They would have had plenty of miles to spare.
1. For the final leg of the journey, Scott had provisioned everything for 4 men to go to the pole. There were 4 sets of skis, a sledge for 4 men to haul, and most importantly, rations for 4 men. He decided at the last moment to bring 5 men. This messed with the rations big time. Even worse, the idiot selected a man who hurt his hand badly just prior to the decision. Scott selected a gimpy man to be a useless 5th person. This blows my mind. How do you set up logistics to the pole for years (even if you flub them), envision the trip in your mind for years (yet come up with the plan the winter before it), select 65 men out of thousands who apply, and on the edge of reaching the goal on the final leg, radically change your trip by adding a 5th man to the final polar party?
I will wrap this up with how this ties into my dreams. Antartica seems like an awesome place. I would love to visit it someday. I would never want to go to the North Pole though. No land. There is no land at the North Pole, which freaks me out a bit. I have always had dreams of being on the ice, then the ice breaks, and I am then struggling to find a piece of ice big enough to keep me afloat. Then I yell to myself "wake up wake up", and wake up violently. I hate these dreams. I love to go out on boats, but there is something about the deep ocean, the cold, the thousands of feet below you of nothing. I don't care for cruises.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Great Idea for a Sneaker Advert

Because of March Madness, many American men are being subjected to beer, truck, macho movie and athletic gear ads. Nike likes to run ads that look slick and define what is cool. I think Nike is good at creating millions of zombies in our nation's high school athletic programs. The designs at Nike have slipped over the years, which is why Under Armour has been slowly gaining marketshare. In response to Nike's adverts, I have a perfect idea for a New Balance ad.

New Balance does not make all of their shoes in America, but some are made in the USA and soem are assembled in the USA. I would create a 30 second ad that would have Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown" as a soundtrack. I would intercut shots of closed up mills in different parts of the USA and black screens with 2 or 3 sentence snippets that explain the thousands of jobs Nike sent to Southeast Asia throughout the last 25 years. I would finish it with a still operating plant in the States for New Balance, and some phrase like "the only things that run at our company are our shoes".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Whole Tall White Male Dating Asian Woman Thing

When I went off to the big, far away university, my folks geared up for the probability that I would meet, fall in love, and marry someone who didn't look like me or doubted that Jesus was the son of God. I was a very open minded guy when it came to dating women in college. By odd luck attending a school that was 20% Asian, I never once dated an Asian girl. This made me one of the 5 white guys over 6 feet tall who did not date an Asian woman. This was a common sight at Cornell. The joke was that on the first day at the engineering school, they measured white guys, and if over 6 feet tall, handed them a T-85 graphing calculator and a 5' 1", 90 lb Asian girlfriend.

What exactly makes this work? In simple, retarded blogger terms, I think it comes down to many different factors of modern American culture. From the Asian chick side, I think tall men are considered desirable, dating outside your ethnic circle is considered kind of chic (I don't like this stupid thinking), and then some lame excuse for another ethnicity having more virile men. That last one happens everywhere, as a Kenyan friend told me that to get down with European males was considered a prize due to their reputation for virility. This made me laugh for about 5 minutes. On the tall, white male side, I'm going to cite the current white male preference for thin, petite, *thin women* stereotypes of Asian female sexual prowess, submissive behavior, and loyalty, *thin women* and finally, the spread of pornography, which has turned Asians *thin women* into a giant, fetish subculture. Seriously, every guy who dated an Asian girl at Cornell was hoping he lucked into finding the brainy Kobe Tai or Asia Carrera. I wouldn't dismiss the stories of uncles and older cousins who take trips to Asian countries or serve in foreign wars in Asia and come back with wild stories. The whole sex tourism trade is disturbing to me, but it is one hell of a moneymaker. Add to this being in a liberal college atmosphere, and it is a perfect storm.


I generally dislike it when people take something out to a fetish because to me, it's a sign of some mental switch that is being turned on as if the object fetishized is a representation of something else they want or a means to get somewhere else mentally... but whatever floats your boat. A female, Asian comic in Boston would make jokes about this dating game and subverted the very idea. As she said she had never seen a limp, white penis, and then would ask a girl in the front row if she could make her p*ssy tighter. After hearing no, she would say to the boyfriend, I'm sorry... but I can help. One night in college, I was at a friend's apartment and my Irish-German girlfriend at the time pulled me aside after 2 hours of socializing and asked why all of my friends had Asian girlfriends (yup, 4 for 4). I looked around and noticed it for the first time. I was quick on my feet and said "jesus christ, what the hell am I doing with you?" Like many stereotypes and racist things like dating solely on a fetish basis, I find it lame even if it is a positive stereotype (all asian women = sexy). Personally, I look forward to the day when a friend of mine can introduce his fiancee, and we find out she is Asian yet no one says "sweet, asian chick". I have a dream. I have a dream. One day we can just get down with people of all races and creeds and no one will immediately run for the gutter by making a positive racist comment or implying some different ability or taste of that different ethnicity. Yes we can!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What was Wrong the Star Wars Prequels?

Like many boys growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was a giant Star Wars fan. When Bantam released "Heir to the Empire", I went nuts reading the books at lightspeed and dreaming of Lucas making more movies. The books showed that you could create a story arc that would be true to the original trilogy but completely different. Zahn was actually better with Lucas' original material than Lucas would later be with the prequels. Zahn kept to some guidelines: limit the superhuman abilities of Jedi, make sure the Empire is not just a monolith of evil, and let the characters be 3 dimensional and not purely good or purely evil. Lucas did not follow any of these in the prequels. Bad guys were evil, good guys were all good, and the Jedi could do whatever they wanted yet somehow got shot down very easily in the 3rd movie. Let's just say Lucas' prequels will never be in my movie collection. There are so many things wrong with the movies, it is hard to list them all.

Lucas failed to understand a few things going in:

1. You can't contradict "facts" established from episodes 4-6. Obi Wan and Anakin meet as adults. Vader hunted down Jedi and killed them. Anakin turned evil by choice to get power quicker and easier. Luke and Leia's mom lived to see Leia grow up. Yoda taught Obi Wan. Obi Wan was old enough to be a general in the Clone Wars and teach Anakin. R2D2 can't have super android powers that he did not have in the original 3 movies.

2. The fan base was older. The core fans would drag their kids anyway, so the money would be there, it was a matter of meeting the fans' older tastes. A kids movie was not wanted yet Lucas forced a kids movie on people. The fall of Anakin Skywalker is suppose to be dark. Fuck making it a kid movie.

3. Even with Lucas shooting 2 hour films, he had a lot of ground to cover for an action/adventure film series and failed to deliver. He chose to wrap things up quickly, while shoving a rushed love story on us. The Lord of The Rings movies also showed that people would sit through a 3 hour movie if it is good. Movies can also span years. You can do it many ways, but an awesome way would be to have a montage of Anakin/Vader killing other Jedi in a variety of fights. Yes, George, they can.

4. He went for the money forgetting that he could make even more money with truly fantastic movies. Will I ever watch these on DVD? No. Will I watch the originals another 50 times and at least 100 when I have kids and hopefully, grandkids? Yes.

5. This might be the worst, but he forgot to work the special effects into the great story and instead let the special effects dictate a lot of what we saw. The Lord of the Rings was a great working of special effects into a classic story. The Star Wars prequels were not.


Here's where he failed with the films:
1. Basic Story: A three act story arc has the rise of Anakin, the turn of Anakin, and the complete transformation of Anakin into Darth Vader. We got: midget Anakin the boy slave bad actor being discovered, Anakin the Jedi Knight kicking some butt but still a whiny teen, and then Anakin the obsessive boyfriend who then gets tricked into becoming a bad guy. He chose to be evil. Can anyone do that in Hollywood anymore?

2. Basic Background: This might be the first thing he fucked up, and subsequently ruined the prequels because of, but he turned the Jedi into a priesthood, when the original set up was more like kung fu masters who take in students. Read any of the comics from Dark Horse set way before the trilogies but in that universe. Yes, there is a Jedi council, but the Jedi learned from masters on different planets. There was no big Jedi Oxford you went to from birth. By taking some of that 1 on 1 cool training away, he made the Jedi into "magnet school" of Force nerds rather than spiritually blessed warrior-philosophers. Yoda sounded like Professor Yoda in the prequels. Luke training in the jungle with Yoda one on one is fantastic. The connection between them seemed special and tough at the same time. That was missing. He demystified the Force by talking about midicholorians. He made it more a matter of science than of spirit. Jedi couldn't fall in love, marry and have kids. How did little Jedi show up?

3. Basic Plot points: Obi Wan met Anakin when Anakin was the best star pilot in the galaxy, saw how he was gifted in the Force and then took him in to train him. Obi Wan was older than Anakin by a considerable amount, which was not honored. If the Jedi are so powerful and strong, how the fuck did they not see the future when the stormtroopers would just shoot them in the back? How? Another giant plot hole is that Vader's mom is buried right next to where Vader's son who is strong in the Force grows up. So Vader never goes to visit his mom's grave for 20 years? He never sees this little boy with the Force, blond hair, and the last name Skywalker????? Was Skywalker like "Smith" in the galaxy so he couldn't be sure it was his kid? Even bigger problem is that Anakin does not choose to become evil for his own gain. He gets tricked into evil to save his woman. Lame. It was like Lucas couldn't let Anakin make the evil choice of his own action so that kids would get mad.

4. Wasted Frames: He wasted space with lame scenes for Jar Jar. Wasted use of the Wookies. Didn't spend time showing awesome battles that didn't have CGI stamped on them. Go look up the battle scenes from Braveheart and substitute lightsabers for the actual blades and that is what I am talking about. Wasted an entire film showing Anakin as a kid. The entire first film was a waste of 2+ hours. He wasted one of 3 films on crap.

5. Missing Pieces: There was no lovable rogue (Han Solo, Lando). There were no underside characters for this "worn in" galaxy (Jabba, Boba Fett). There was no love triangle. Even though Luke and Leia are revealed as twins in the 3rd film; the love triangle of Luke-Han-Leia was great. The prequels could have been full of these guys. Think about it: a Jedi who went to the dark side but came back. There had to be at least one since Obi Wan going undercover and hiding from the Emperor and Darth Vader with the help of smugglers to hide Luke, Leia and their mom. The love triangle was built in: Obi Wan, Anakin, Luke/Leia's mom. How perfect? Run on sentence alert: They could even make it realistic where Luke/Leia's Mom should get down with good guy Obi Wan but she chooses bad boy Anakin who gets her pregnant and then goes evil, ditching her, and then she crawls back to Obi Wan, who still loves her so he helps hide her and the kids and never gets to tap it but lives in the desert watching over Luke pretending that he is the son Obi Wan should have had with Luke's mom, dreaming of what Luke's mom was like before she had the twins as he masturbates through tears of regret. That would probably be a deleted scene.

6. Bad Casting: Anakin never should have been a child in the first film. He used Liam Neeson who has a serious, dramatic background for one film only. Samuel L. Jackson had some weight but wasn't allowed to flesh out his character. How cool would it have been to see Samuel L. teaching Anakin or advising Obi Wan on some tricks of the Force? When they cast the films, Lucas should have called DiCaprio everyday and said "name your price, you will be in my fucking films as Anakin". Supposedly they did reach out to Dicaprio and he said no.

7. No explanations: He failed to explain some things like why some Jedi fade away as they die or threw shitty explanations at us like the midicholorians or how the Jedi got all blue and fuzzy after death. The blue fuzzy explanation was a dumb throw in. How come Anakin couldn't tell using the Force that his wife was pregnant with twins? How did Yoda and Obi Wan, who were wicked powerful, hide for years when the Emperor and Vader could feel Luke's little disturbances of the Force? Why did Vader stop looking for Obi Wan? Why did the galaxy stop using droids for fighting and switch to clones and then stop using clones? How could Darth Sidious be so evil right under the Jedi council's nose? So stupid.

8: Too much CGI: every alien looked way too CGI fake. Battle scenes were obviously CGI. Even the space scenes were not as solid as the originals. It felt like an awesome video game during some action scenes. CGI still hasn't figured out how to capture that real look. Kind of like how Jaba the Hutt was obviously fake, but he looked so real that he made your skin crawl. Jabba looked like something you would find down in Chinatown in some dungeon ready to devour you whole.

Not everything was bad.....

1. The Obi Wan-Anakin lightsaber duel delivered the goods. It was what I had built it up to be for 20 years. That duel salvaged the 3rd film for me to be 'ok'.
2. Ewan MacGregor as Obi Wan. Great bit of casting and good performance. He captured some of that Obi Wan wit, and gave a decent hat tip to Alec Guinness.

3. Yoda's lightsaber fighting. When that happened, the entire crowd went nuts where I saw it. Yoda kicked some serious ass. It was a cross of kung fu, sword fighting and midget wrestling.

4. The lightsaber duel between Liam Neeson, MacGregor and the lame actor who played Darth Maul. Seriously, Darth Maul's real life voice was so bad they overdubbed his lines using another actor.

5. Natalie Portman. Thank you. I needed her to get me through those prequels.

6. Anakin hunting down and destroying the sand people that kill his mom. That's a cool application of Jedi powers. I wish they had shown the actual footage of it. I think we all saw this one coming after the first crappy film, "oooooh my mom can't leave the crappy planet so watch it end up costing her her life, while I go away to become a Jedi". It is another plot hole that no one confronts Anakin about this decidely evil act.

7. R2D2 rocked. I always wonder how he is going to get out of problems. When we get robots in the future, I hope they are like R2D2 and not like the Terminator.

8. Costume design was fantastic. I loved the quasi-futuristic, quasi-Asian look of the clothes. Not a lot of that monochromatic future wear from the 70s flicks.

9. Some of the settings were well thought out like Natalie Portman's home planet, Coruscant, the fiery planet where Obi Wan fought Anakin.

10. We figured out why Boba Fett was such a bad ass who could get killed so quickly. Look at his dad.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You Don't Get My Vote

The Obama Race Speech was pretty lame as it was a repeat of standard liberal race talk and full of let's all join hands and fight corporations kind of words. There are so many people ripping into this and in far better fashion than I ever could. What I am going to comment on is how this guy is a political weasel like all the rest of them. No Messiah here. He threw his own grandmother under the bus to get the presidency.

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

You lost my vote. I'm one of those male voters that Dems are afraid you will not get in November. I can't believe this but "Go Hillary". You never, and I mean NEVER, throw your Gramma, who raised you, under the bus. Let's get this straight. You talk of being raised by a single mom. That isn't the case. She was single for a short short while and remarried quickly. You lived in a two parent house until you were around 10 and then you were raised by your two white grandparents in Hawaii and attended rich kid prep school. These old, white people took you in despite how different you were, and how they might have received some flak for doing so from neighbors, and raised you from the fifth grade to age 18. That is almost a decade. You know how some old white people handle their white child's mixed race children? Like phucking plutonium. It is wrong, but that is their personal feeling. These two took you in and raised you. Gramma confesses to you a fear of black men, which must have been incredibly crushing to your cokehead soul as you were growing up to be one, and you manage to mention that in a speech to try to cover up for your pastor who hates America, white people and called the USA "the US of KKK A". Let's do another line Barry! Your speech was lame, your act is growing old, and you just trampled on your Gramma's memory. I can't believe I considered voting for you.

Obama is the hot person across the bar that looks good with bar lighting and a smokey haze. By the time you walk over to them, the ugly shines right through.

Through the Wormhole


I tripped back and stopped it

What happens when the choice is wrong?

Hope the split goes well

Monday, March 17, 2008

Economics Blogs to Check Out

The Bear Stearns bankruptcy bailout is a bit comical since Bear Sterns was the one I-bank that did not participate in the LTCM bailout in 1998. Word out on the street is that Lehman Brothers is the next domino to fall, and they have to do some esplainin' about their balance sheets. Honestly, I enjoyed seeing Bear Sterns fall as those cocksuckers cancelled my interview with them when I was a senior in college looking for a job. Yeah, I know 9-11 and the recession made you cut down interviews, but you scheduled one and then sent me an email to say it was cancelled. I was only going to work for you dipwads for 5 years tops anyway. Ha, the jokes on you guys now as I still have a job.

It has been a joy to read some extremely well done econ and investing blogs about the Bear Sterns collapse. Here are a few links I check out daily. The great thing about these guys is that they actually look at the numbers, the data, the BS and try to help you understand what is going on behind the scenes. Some of it is tin foil hat-ish and some is incredibly enlightening.

"Mish" writes about econ and is in the deflation camp. I agree with him because I think as more Americans have less cash to spend on consumer items and odd investments, the price of things will fall. Look at all of the "leap year" and "sta patrick's day" sales stores had this year. I like how his signature name is the same as a French Canadian finger sandwich. At Memere's house on Christmas eve, you can always count on mishes.

Winter Watch is brilliant, funny and truly eye opening. I have learned more in reading his articles than in 4 years of economics classes at Cornell. The comment board is somewhat annoying, but the writer, Russ Winter, writes in a clear manner and with style. I do agree that what we are seeign now is a deflation in some assets but rapid inflation in others (energy & food). I differ in that I think shortly it will all be going down. One of his best posts described how fictitous capital, which is a concept he commonly writes about is created. Fictitous capital is when your neighbor sells their house for 200K when you thought all homes in the subdivision were 150K. Suddenly, you and all of your neighbors go to your banks and get home equity loans and what have you based on these new property values. Has anything really changed? Is your home really worth more? No. This loan which is a debt to you is a credit to some investor who expects those mortgage payments to act as a bond. This investor is holding onto a fictitous thing of value.

The Big Picture and Calculated Risk. I go to these two in back to back link clicks. Big Picture is written by barry ritholtz who manages to answer emails (yup, he answered mine) and is pretty witty. He can break down complicated things into easy to understand terms. I consider that a sign of true mastery of a subject. Calculated Risk is housing focused, and the writers do an amazing job of breaking down how the mortgage world really works. Well, how it is suppose to work before the last few years of douchebags in power suits and whores in short skirts and 5 inch heels talking about closing condo deals.

Greg Mankiw. Harvard professor who posts quick thoughts or links. Very intelligent and has a habit of showing data that challenges preconceived notions and does the "follow the numbers" routine rather than come up with his idea and then find data to back it up. The opposite of Paul Krugman.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reminiscing and College Basketball

A good friend from college came to visit this weekend for the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament. We went to the Friday night games and the Saturday seminfinals. We had a lot of catching up to do, as when we last saw each other, he was in law school and my wife was still just my girlfriend. Much has changed, and he was a great Obi Wan figure for my wife and I to talk to for Midwestern cultural knowledge. He's living a pimp life at one of the top law firms in Cincy as a single man, and despite being a lawyer, he looks less stressed than he ever did at Cornell or Harvard. Go figure.

On to random observations from the Big Ten tournament....

- No way would I bet on a Big Ten team in the NCAA final four. No way in hell. These teams played sloppy.

- Nothing matches buzzer beaters to tie ballgames and send them into OT like another buzzer beater just before midnight that wins a game.

- Big Ten fans like the game of basketball and want to see competitive games. Good fans.

- Big Ten refs suck. They botched calls, reffed inconsistently, forced key players out of the game, and tried to be part of the show rather than an official there to regulate. An 8 year old heckeled the refs on Friday night. It was that bad.

- Conseco Fieldhouse has great sightlines and comfortable seats. My friend and I are both over 6 feet tall and we sat for 5 hours without pain. It is a nice venue; I will catch more games there next NBA-college B-ball season.

- Big Ten cheerleaders are really athletic. Not a lot of porny looking cheerleaders. They were more the gymnast type. Minnesota's crew had the coolest pyramids, lifts, and uhhh, hair.

- There were small kids at the late session Friday night. That session started at 6:30pm. What are kids under 10 doing at that session?

- It is easy to forget you shouldn't swear in public. My friend and I were having R rated conversations and were laughing at the 8 year old heckler behind us. It dawned on us 20 minutes later that the kid could hear us. Hopefully, he doesn't ask his dad what half the things we were discussing mean.

- Erin Andrews is easy on the eyes. How on Earth is she originally from Massachusetts?
- I do not believe college athletes should be paid. The University of Wisconsin is one of the best univerisities in the country, and athletes get to go there for free because they play a sport. The food stipend is also luxurious. The average American student would kill to get the benefits these young men and women already get just because they can do a children's game or activity at a high level.

- Many of the players at these Division 1 schools shot worse and had worse passing and game skills than the guys I knew in college. The difference was that the shortest guys on the court were 6 foot 3, had 30 inch vertical jumps and could run sub 5.0 40s easy. It really does come down to size, strength and speed because these guys shoot worse than my 53 year old dad. It is even worse at the pro level, and I think this turns a lot of fans off. Average Joes know they can shoot better than the college kids and pros, but they just don't have the physical skill set. Another hidden gem of basketball at this level is just how hard it is to do the basic things because of the athletic ability of your adversaries. If average joes realized how hard it is to get position or shoot when the defense can all jump 30+ inches to block your shot, I think more people would appreciate basketball.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bad Scottish Accents

Scottish people voted that Christopher Lambert in "Highlander" has the worst Scottish accent in film history. I wholeheartedly agree. I didn't realize he was playing a real Scottish guy when I first saw the movie. I thought he was an alien trying to fit in with Scots. He was awful. If you notice, the list has some of the best known portrayals of Scottish people. Why doesn't Hollywood just try to cast one true Scottish person in a Scottish role?

Highlander is an awesome movie that would have been even bigger had they cast a halfway decent actor in the lead role. The villain is brilliant. Sean Connery plays the older, wise man who instructs the young Highlander about his abilities. There are several great fight scenes. The two storylines in separate times work well together. Somehow, every, single time I watch the movie, I can't help but think how much the lead sucks. This was a worse casting choice than Heather Graham in Austin Powers 2.



One accent that was nominated unfairly was Michael Myers' Shrek accent. I do not think Shrek was suppose to be Scottish. I think Myers crossed his Scottish accent up with a Canadian accent and gave birth to Shrek. It is a movie for children so a true blue Scottish accent might be too hard for them to follow. I was one of the few people who did not like Shrek. I did not like the jokes for the most part. I thought the Eddie Murphy donkey character was pretty lame. I did like the gingerbread man and countless other fairy tale references and wish they had been expanded on in the film. Instead we watched a tale that said it is not nice to judge or make fun of people for being ugly on the outside (shrek and ugly people), but it is ok to make fun of short people (john lithgow's character). Way to go Hollywood.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Client #9

Eliot Spitzer likes his punani paid for and classy. I love seeing this almost as much as seeing the Patriots get their hats handed to them last month. This is the best schadenfruede 6 week period ever. Spitzer builds a 'reputation' by going after easy bad guys like Wall St. and insurance companies. No one really likes him, but he gets wonderful media treatment and waltzes into the governor's office. Two years later and the guy is contemplating resignation because he pays hookers $5500/hour for good loving. I love how MSNBC said he faces GOP impeachment threat. WHy wouldn't a governor face impeachment hearings for felonies? why not? I mean c'mon McGreevey resigned for being gay and giving his lover a plum position. No pun intended. This is uglier as he flew a hooker down for sex in DC. I do have a few questions though...

1. Why couldn't he have a normal affair? Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. He didn't need to pay for sex. A normal affair would keep him in office. Hiring hookers and committing felonies doesn't.
2. Who is this hooker? At $5500/hour, I am expecting Cindy Crawford.
3. What does a person do for $5500/hour? Does a client get to go to 6th base? Are we going to find out disturbing details of his preferences?
4. Who are clients #1-8? Are we talking about Charlie Sheen and some European and Middle Eastern playboys? That would be my guess.
5. When did he start going to hookers? A person does nto start with $5500/hour hookers. A guy has to break in at a lower level. I bet he started in the '70s when NYC was a much friskier city of sin. Maybe he went down to Atlantic City for some $50 hookers to get a rush.
6. How did this mob controlled organization not set Spitzer up for anything like the Senator in Godfather 2? This plays out like a movie. What governor would be dumb enough to do this, especially in this day and age?

I am a bit sad as well by this news. Spitzer was a guy who was from an uberrich family but still felt for us common folks. I disliked his grandstanding, but he didn't seem to be as much of a slimeball, in bed with business politician like say any of our presidential candidates. On an extended timeline, I pictured Spitzer as a 3 term governor who would consider running for president in 2016 or 2020. I thought the future was incredibly bright for him on a national stage. Sadly, this is all done. Sure, he was a total dick and coerced a lot of people to do things and throw themselves on swords.

Spitzer also made enemies with this guy. Mo Greenberg did not survive a concentration camp, get to the top of AIG, create a wonderful legacy for his family in the insurance business to then get swept out of the insurance industry by a pencil neck, "crusading AG" like Spitzer. If this was somehow a set up, I would laugh my ass off to find out it was Maurice Greenberg. Still, if he hadn't just dialed those numbers, he could be riding high.


Then again, if Ted Kennedy had saved Mary Jo Kopechne, he would have been president in 1976.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Harrison Ford and Japanese Cartoons


You listen to me!

Gimme back my family!

Now get off my plane!
Harrison Ford rocks. He's great at playing the 'everyman' character. He's not stunningly handsome, he's not super tough, but there is something about him that makes you cheer him on and like him. My sister had a super crush on him pretty much up to now, and I enjoyed all of his work, even lesser known films like Mosquito Coast (watch it). The image is of this Japanese manga adaptation of the Star Wars trilogy that was back in the mid 90s. Well, at least that was when I saw them on sale. They were brilliant, and while I do not normally like Japanese comics, I thought these adaptations were brilliant as they could explain much more than what was on film. I wish I had bought them back then.
I find most Japanese cartoons and comics to be terrible. When people accuse American children of having short attention spans, I watch a Japanese cartoon and nearly have seizures. The women drawn in Japanese manga and anime are even more ridiculous than the average American comic book heroine, with a quarter of the sexiness. Seriously, what is with all of the "Bug Eye" people? The other thing that bothers me is that the Japanese do not have traditional pornography. They have all of their pornography in cartoon form. Whatever floats your boat. This disturbs me on different levels. This is also the reason why I chuckle when people criticize Western culture.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thank You NY Giants

It has been a month now since my favorite NFL game of all time that did not involve my favorite team. It is true, not just a hoax, the NY football Giants did beat the Patriots. Oh, how sweet a win. I'm still basking in the glow of that win. I haven't heard a peep out of Patriots fans for a month. Nothing. It's like the NFL season never existed. The comeuppance of all sports comeuppances was so sweet that an entire nation rejoiced. ESPN did a poll of all NFl fans and set it up by which team they cheered for. Fans of every single team, excluding the Patriots, all wanted to see the Giants win. It was not to watch the Giants win, but to see the Patriots lose. Part of my joy with this loss has been the utter silence from Patriots nation. My email to taunt them goes out soon. Just as much as my friends who cheer for the Patriots taunted me during the season, I will in turn taunt them. No, I am not rising above this challenge nor am I taking the high road. I am reminding them to be humble. They hopefully will learn the lesson. Most likely, they will not.

The photo to the right is one of those Tom Brady photos where he tries to pose and look goofy or less made for a movie. Dude, you've got movie star looks and have sex with actresses and supermodels, quite fronting you're a normal guy.

The Joy/Pain Oscillation


Recall all details

Undivided attention

Self abuse followed

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Daydreaming

For 25-40 minutes a day, I daydream. I do not know if that is healthy, but I daydream. Sometimes it is about things that are completely out of the realm of possiblity like flying or being able to toss things around with telekinetic ability. Sometimes I see someone and then map out the rest of their night in my head. When I do that trick, I usually do the narration of that person's night with a different voice. Once in a while, I daydream about the past and different choices that could have been made and what it would have done to me. Usually, these choices were not mine to make. It is amazing the incredible effects parents have on their children even with the small things that they consider meaningless. I do not have regrets. Not over my actions.

I think daydreaming is a bit healthier than when I practice an accent or an imitation in the car on the way home. That has to look far worse to other drivers. They might be expecting to see a "bluetooth" in my ear, but they do not. Must be a bit frightening.

The Battle of Winged Beings


Four winged demon man

Throw spinning blades at my face

Missed, now fate is sealed

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

President Bush, Hidden Comedic Genius

This article discusses the Red Sox's White House visit in celebration of their 2007 World Series victory. The two items that stick out in my mind are 1. Manny Ramirez decided not to show up, again, and 2. President Bush was pretty funny with his jokes. I usually comment on President Bush being slow, dumb, and a bit wooden at events. After viewing his 2004 campaign trail town hall meetings, some random moments and then this little meeting, I have to give him proper respect for his comedic timing and ability to make fun of himself (we both have trouble answering questions in English). In this visit, he shows knowledge of the player's quirks and makes fun of himself in the process. My personal favorite Bush joke during his time in office was when he was asked to comment on the Bill Clinton 800+ page memoir. Bush replied that his would not be that long, and he would make it a pop up book. That is a brilliant, self deprecating joke. Kudos to you W.

My favorite dumb Bush quote is...

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on --shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

The leader of the free world.

Album Cover or Gay Porn Cover?

Look Quickly and decide? Timeframe is late 70s......


I have a feeling that this photo was at the end of the shoot. The band had ton a ton fo drinking or drugging. The photographer was like "Why don't you guys take off your tops and horse around?" The world of album covers was never the same.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

This Gentlemen Prefers Brunettes

For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to brunettes. I know that America is obsessed with blonde hair. Whether it is women dying their hair and letting their dark roots show or men trading in their first wife for a blonde piece of arm candy once they 'make it' (examples: Most of Wall St. and Bryant Gumble), the blonde premium is alive and well. Psychologists have tried to argue that it goes back to days of yore in Europe when blonde hair was associated with youth, which was what men were drawn to for mates. That sounds logical, but nowadays we do not live grueling lives where we have to use hair pigment clues to find a suitable, healthy mate. I don't know what gives with modern men, but whatever gets your blood flowing is fine by me.

Now I do not turn down a pretty face, but when I consider hair color, which is like 80th on the list of things I would consider in a mate (right behind attention span and ahead of driving ability), brunettes is number 1, followed by redheads, and then blondes. Temporary green and pink dye jobs get sent to the bottom. I don't go for the punk look. It makes sense that my wife has dark hair. I'll be spending the rest fo my life with her, so she better fit the bill. Considering this order, which appears to be different than most of my peers, I tried to trace it back to something. I could never really put my finger on why I would prefer one color over the other. Then it hit me: Return of the Jedi.

Return of the Jedi was the first movie I remember seeing in the theatres. I was about 3 and a half. Believe me, I saw it maybe 20 times. Every single aunt or uncle I had took me to it. Luke Skywalker was my favorite character. I was Van Damme serious whenever he was onscreen because he was a Jedi. He was also a good guy dressed in black, which did not jive with my little brain that had been watching cartoons and movies where the guy in white is the good guy. Going on in the back of my brain was this other message, "Princess Leia = pretty, find Princess Leia in the future". George Lucas had her in that gold metal bikini get give dads a reason to go to the movie, gave teenage boys good dreams, and planted the seed in many little boys' minds that no matter how fat you are, if you are rich and powerful, a smokin' hot brunette might sleep with you in a metal bikini.

There was a dichotomy with Princess Leia's wardrobe in the Star Wars movies. She was either covered neck to foot completely or wearing a metal bikini. There were no in between styles. Maybe Lucas thought that after covering her up for 2 movies, he had to give male viewers a little bit of fun. The wife and I debate the Princess Leia/Queen Padme comparison a lot. Yes, Natalie Portman is a beautiful young woman. Yes, she has a very classic look about her, and is slightly exotic which might be from Israeli roots showing. Still, she could not pull off the metal bikini like Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher was in goodshape due to her genes from Debbie Reynolds and the amount of cocaine she was snorting in the '80s... bonus points: she didnt look anorexic. If Portman wore that outfit, she'd look like a boy. I am probably clinging to a memory of Princess Leia on the big screen. My brain has definitely clung to that memory through the years as I have met women.

Cowboys and Free Agency

My dream for this offeason for the Cowboys is no ridiculous contracts for big name free agents. Let's just keep our guys and fill some holes Let's also avoid the idiotic trade that Don Banks predicts the Cowboys would do for the 7 pick from New England, which would go down as one of the dumbest trades ever just fro an unproven rookie RB (2 firsts for their first). Like anyone would do that with the Pats after the trades they pulled last year. People should know by now that when you trade with the Pats, you're probably getting ripped off. Dallas has around 25 mil in cap space, which might be more considering the Ferguson deal they just pulled off.

Ideal Moves
1. Draft WR to go with Owens and Crayton. I would prefer this to be one of the two 1st round picks we have. Dallas does need to get younger at this position. Ideal player: Mario Manningham. He just might drop enough that they could pick him up at the 29 spot. I don't care about that combine 40; I saw him play on Saturdays.
2. Draft a CB. This should be priority number 1. We need someone else to use with Newman. Henry is a bit slower, but still useful versus larger receivers because he is taller than the average DB. Ideal Candidate: The Cromartie kid or Mike Jenkins. I would like Cromartie because he si a big bigger which is better to deal with Plaxico Burress in the division, and he could manhandle the Iggles and Redskins midget WRs.
3. Sign or draft in later rounds (3rd-5th) a speed back to go with Barber. All of this talk of using a first round pick on a RB is stupid. They have bigger needs than RB. Ideal Candidate: Pick up Steve Slaton in the 4th round. I don't liek wasting a first rounder on a back when we have one of the top 10 or top 5 backs in the NFL already. Let's just pick up speed. Heck, signing Tatum Bell would be a good idea that "Hashmarks" suggested yesterday.
4. Figure out if Hamlin is the answer long term at free safety. This is a player evaluation bit. I would sign him to a 3 or 4 year deal and get rid fo that franchise tag label that is chewing up cap space. Ideal Move: Sign him to 3 years, use him for 2, cut his ass when we draft Taylor Mays or some other stud FS prospect.
5. Pick up a back up for Romo. Romo's thumb injury last year showed how dangerous it is to use Brad Johnson as the back up. Ideal Candidate: Chris Simms. I know he is under contract with the Bucs, but somethign has to give with the logjam of QBs down there. He is competent.