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disclaimer: yes, I do love Alan Moore's graphic novel. I say Alan Moore's, being conscious that it's unfair to the artist, because I am not particularly fond of Kevin O'Neill's drawing style. I love it because I grew up reading Haggard, Verne, and Stevenson. Wells and Stoker are more recent additions to my favorites list after I reached maturity. additionally, I love steampunk settings.

unfortunately, I was a little disenchanted with the movie.

occasional bits of great dialogue. mostly made up of one-liners, of course.

did not mind so much the changes made to the story itself. it was a rather hilarious romp to begin with, too.

the art and production design was stunning. Nautilus, the robot men, the winter suits, costumes, etc. top notch.

too obvious that Sean Connery, being the only Big Name to star in the movie (and being Executive Producer of it), had to play the leading part.

CGI effects were, alas, a little too cheap in parts of the movie, and subtracted from my suspension of disbelief.

I wonder why we did not see Mina's counterpart during the final showdown sequences.

the introduction teaser was very good.

and the mystery/intrigue aspect of the plot. worked well.

I must confess my considerable disappointment in the characters and how they were written. here's my take:but don't look if you are concerned about very minor spoilers )

there was naturally little time for all the small references that I also loved about the graphic novel. we were referenced to The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Around the World in 80 Days, and Moby Dick outside of the core books from which the main characters were drawn, and that was it. for some reason, M's second in command character was named Dante Alighieri. that's pretty infathomable.

my greatest grief with the movie was that it played far too little on emotions. I fear I am going to forget it pretty soon, for this lack of identifying with the characters. of course, that's not what one usually looks for in a summer movie, but I think it was called for in this case.

it was mentioned last night that Connery was not very pleased with having to go back to Prague twice to shoot additional footage after the movie was done. this would imply a somewhat heavy-handed approach to the movie on part of the studio. I did a little research, and found this saucy snippet of gossip floating around from November, last year:

The mood on the set of Sean Connery's new movie, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," is so bad, crew members in Prague are grumbling they want to go home. Connery and "League" director Stephen Norrington can't stand each other. After Norrington stopped filming for a day because he "didn't like the way an elephant gun looked," Connery threatened to have him fired. Norrington screamed: "I'm sick of it! Come on! Punch me in the face!" "There have been differences of opinion on everything," Connery tells Entertainment Weekly. "I just want to complete the picture."

apparently unforeseen expenses stemming from the floods in Prague last year, ruining five of the movie sets, would have detracted from the overall quality of the film, too.

but I'm not sorry I paid to see it. =)

we're going to Kjinge's place soon, I think.
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I'm sure some of you can relate to this.

sometimes I need to buy cigarettes right here and now. luckily we have our infamous videostore open 24h just down the block, so the availability is not a problem.

the problem is the price, which is about 1/6 higher there than in regular shops during daytime.

now, which is the more economic way to do this:

do I still go for the usual budget pack of 20 100mms, knowing that buying in bulk makes for a slight rebate, or do I cut my losses and invest in a 10-pack of regular king size for once, even though the actual bang for the buck is significantly less?

I've been wondering about this for a long time.
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Mr. Terje Welle-Busk is something of a national hero. he has brought countless hours of music to the public outside of regular music stores. distributed on gas stations and convenience stores nationwide, each artist signed to him is guaranteed to sell. and it's really affordable.

in other words, mass produced country music.

how he managed to get two of his artists into the same program of the Norwegian version of the "Ready, steady - cook" concept, airing on national TV as I write this, is nothing less than an astounding feat of PR eptitude.

the artists in question are Heidi Hauge and Ann Taylor, the former being by far the most well known and popular. but what prompted me to write an entry on this was the fact that the latter, given NOK 100 to shop food for, brought in a packet of sausages, 4 potatoes, and a can of beans in tomato juice.

that's proper c&w attitude for you. respect.
larris: (Default)

ticks and leeches, the lot of them.

the truth about cats, not dogs.

also, the news agency AFP says that the South Australian government has recently proposed a curfew for cats in order to prevent them killing or infecting other animals. In West Australia a regional MP suggests that all cats in the country should be extinguished within 2020.

what do you think of this?


Sep. 23rd, 2003 09:45 am
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from Jarle Grindhaug, a spokesman at the video game store chain Spider-Man:

"Every Fall, a bunch of 60- and 70-year-olds come by. they shop lots of role-playing games for PlayStation2, which they are going to bring with them to Spain over the winter. They really have the lowdown on this and know exactly which games they want."

my translation from Aftenposten.
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I have now ripped and uploaded the main intro music written by Wally Beber for the Amiga version of Pool of Radiance. the C64 version is a different composition altogether by David Warhol, and is already available on the net both in the original format and in converted MIDI.

I don't know how to extract the MOD from the Amiga program files, so I captured it from within the game as a 22KHz WAV file and compressed it to MP3 afterwards. I don't know if it's possible at all to sequence it and build a MIDI from it with better sounding instruments, but as far as I know the music has never before been available digitally outside of the original platform until tonight, so it's worth a try.

Pool of Radiance arrived in 1989 as the first official AD&D computer RPG ever and became one of the most popular CRPGs in history. Its engine was used in a dozen other games, most notably Curse of the Azure Bonds (into which one could transfer characters from PoR, and which recycled PoR's C64 music in the PC version). and in recent years it spawned a sequel, Pool of Radiance II: Ruins of Myth Drannor (Ubi Soft, 2001). It was a pen&paper module called Ruins of Adventure, and it also had a Forgotten Realms book trilogy all on its own, written by Jim Ward et al. after the publication of Neverwinter Nights, old fans have recreated the entire game for a new audience, so it is still being played today on a new engine.

the game Pool of Radiance sold an unprecedented number of copies over numerous platforms, including the NES, but only the Amiga version featured this music. I got my friend Scum/Muad'Dib/Jhorid, who owned an Amiga. to record the music for me on a cassette, and I used to listen to it for hours while I played. it captures perfectly the theme of medieval fantasy and D&D, magic and treasure, heroes and monsters. IMNSHO.

here it is, for your listening pleasure:
Game Music - Pool of Radiance.mp3
larris: (Default)
what does it signify when one is feeling hungry and proceeds to enter into Opera's Google search field the word "food"?
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we went to meet Tommy BK last night. in many ways it was just like any other evening at the same jazz café we usually go to. (nice new fantasy comics art on the walls, if a little too Conan inspired for my preferences.) but the main feature is seeing Tommy there, conversing personally, F2fuckin'F, that's where it's at.

these more intimate, high-level ways of communicating provide, when the setting is correct, so much more than mere text does, its printed words channeled through the text parsers in our brains. but I still believe in McLuhan's words about the medium being the message.

I deeply appreciate all of our talks. and I shall miss the opportunity to have them.

this is of course another incitement for travelling to Sussex some time in the future.

he sold me MERP 2nd.Ed. book and the Dark Earth computer game too. I wonder when I am going to get time to use them, but they are nice items to own.

materialist me. =P
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gods, but it looks beautiful.

I have spent the last hour or two just browsing thru it while Callie listens to her new Weird Al collection. (side note: the song Albuquerque is amazing!)

seeing that I now have run into a few more DL fans on LJ (hi Talinthas!),
here are the notes I jotted down while skimming the book for the first time:

stay away if you're not into DL gaming )
larris: (Default)
Johnny Cash hurts no more.

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for a minute there I almost thought my networking card had signed its resignation form. turned out all it needed was some ventilation, probably. in any case it seems to work after I opened the door to the cabinet. =)

on my way from work today I passed some magnificient locales for the Project, but it turns out the financial situation has changed in the meantime, so that it is not feasible at this point in time. oh well. better luck next time.

while I'm playing Pool of Radiance now on my new, albeit emulated Amiga, I'm keeping an adventurer's journal for my party. it's day-to-day in game time, incorporating as many of the real Journal Entries from the paper manual as I can.

a longish taster )
larris: (Default)
I just got to say: Type O Negative's live cover version of Smells Like Teen Spirit is, as Callie observed, one of the most embarrassing ones in the history of popular music.

give me trance covers, easy listening covers, hell, even accordion covers over this.

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a few days ago I got hold of the Amiga version of Pool of Radiance. the original, not Ruins of Myth Drannor. the very first computer game I bought myself. at Virgin Megastore, Oxford St.

now I got the emulator all booted up, and just to listen to that supremely evocative music again...

it's incomparable. =)
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no, in fact this is yet more political commentary by yours truly.

now that more and more non-governmental & independent humanitarian aid agencies announce partial or full withdrawal from what they perceive as unacceptable security conditions in Iraq (keeping in mind that these people have worked in war theaters around the world for decades), I am reminded of the parallels to the situation in the "self-governed" Palestinian areas for the last few years, before the last intifada started in the fall of 2000.

the autonomous Palestinian government has suffered massive criticism from the US and Israel for not being able to tame the more violent factions working against Israel, and when Israel has retaliated on its own by demolishing houses belonging to the offenders' families, as well as launching pre-emptive gunship strikes against particular targets, it has become more than apparent that president Arafat's efforts have not been sufficient to stem the desperation flowing through his population. which has led to an ever inwards spiralling force of violence and civil unrest.

and when, as a spokesman for the Norwegian Refugee Council said today in connection with their closing down their planned services in Iraq, the American occupational troops in Iraq seem to be more occupied (heh) with their own security than that of the civilians and the assisting volunteering organizations, who will intervene and retaliate on behalf of the victims of violence?

I also think that the man with the strongest voice of reason in the US government, Colin Powell, has landed a small victory in talking Dubya into allowing a stronger UN mandate in Iraq. even if Washington insists that the UN work must still be subordinated American leadership. this is a quite a piece of humble pie for the administration to swallow, but since they now somewhat ironically find themselves in a position similar to Arafat's, it is interesting to observe how they appeal for assistance - assistance EU foreign commissary Chris Patten denies them as long as the security situation is not under control.

so this, at least for Washington, must be a taste of what it's like to be on the other side of the table. I don't think that consequences for the American administration will be as dire as they has become for the Palestinians, since it is unlikely that they will be declared to be "part of the problem, not the solution". even if that's what they really are.
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okay, so now the Robocop body plugs in and takes over. the abductor or abstructor or whatever that horrible weight machine training the inside thigh muscles is called has worked its evil mojo on my loins. it's like a hex. and the only way to stretch out properly hurts like all hell.

translation: been to the gym again for the first time in almost three years. thanks for bringing me, Callie. it was fun watching her being much more adept at the exercises than I was. it made me feel safe & secure, and helped build confidence. it's much more fun working out together. looking forward to doing that much more often now.

more Mambo Kurt-like MIDI playing. he's playing at Mono tonight, but we're already booked for a boat trip on the fjord, courtesy of my good and trusty old bank. information about bank services is to be conveyed, shrimps are being served, and Henning Sommerro and Jon Pål Inderberg will entertain. hooray. =)
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so the US Environmental Protection Agency sees fit to declare carbon dioxide as a non-polluting gas and therefore exempt from regulations. this, along with certain other measures recently passed by the same bureaucratic instance. enables the nation responsible for full 25% of the world's combined CO2 production to not only continue its virtually unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, but to increase it further. this will fortunately not be a violation of the Kyoto agreement, since the current administration thoughtfully withdrew the US signature from the protocol already in 2001.

certainly, the extreme weather could be all part of a natural cycle, and the 410 mms of rain falling over my home village during the last 18 days could be totally unconnected to human-generated global warming. I'm sure my fellow villagers would be elated to know that the EPA is willing to take that risk for them over there in Washington, and moreover that the Agency has decided that while the jury is out on CO2's harmful/lessness, it's okay to increase the industrial production of the same in the meantime.

after all, nobody could force any American companies or - gods forbid - private owners of combustion-propelled vehicles to cover the bill for whatever economic and material damage global warming, oh pardon, climate change-induced landslides and floods are making overseas, isolating and ruining my home and the people there.

of course, we already have it on strong authority from certain influential US factions that cigarettes aren't harmful to people, either. neither is junk food. or firearms.

E-P-ki-A, motherfuckers.
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elongated subject there to explain my SO's earlier subject line. (we awoke with this song in our heads, more or less.)

rather than posting comments with thanks to all of you who partook in last night's escapades with us, I thought I'd just do it here, once and for all.

so. thanks for a splendid evening, everyone. my special shout-out this time goes to Em , Anniken, and Marion who all visited here for the first time.

okay, Maragor and Monster here for Buffy. gotta go.
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somewhat unexpectedly, Goldie graciously offered me her ticket to Gothminister and Gåte. nice seeing her, she's going to Paris for the next six months now. tried to get a bunch of people to join in, but as it turned out I ended up going alone after all.

it made me realize that it has indeed been a long time since I went to concerts alone, like I did during my early stay in Oslo. when going all by myself, the fun is for me reduced to approximately a cubic root of the potential of what it could be with the right company.

but Gåte was still good. and although the percentage of the audience coming to actually see Gothminister play support was in the one-digit range, Gothminister managed pretty well. the rumors exaggerate, they don't actually perform using playback as such. singback is more like it. and Machine, the guitarist, definitely did play. (as did Robot, the guitar player of Gåte. heh.) I say Gothminister managed pretty well, considering their pyro show released the fire alarm of the venue and we were ushered out in the chilly summer night and kept waiting for half an hour, only four songs into their show. naturally they did have trouble rebuilding the atmosphere when they resumed playing.

I actually think they should have eschewed the last portion of their set, even if Dementia hadn't displayed half of all her costumes when the unexpected break occurred.

regarding Gåte: no actual tears this time, but yeah. the emotions returned at certain points. and that was all I paid for. but emotions of longing made themselves apparent so soon that I decided to return to Callie before Gåte's set was finished. not too soon to miss the last tube, though. so I walked through nighttime Oslo for 45 minutes before arriving home.

now I'm at work, tired as a rug, but I'm having fun checking out MIDI files, since streaming and mp3 downloads are disallowed due to network issues (we use IP telephony).

but even using the acclaimed and expensive Roland synth library that Microsoft has licensed, there's a distinct feel of Mambo Kurt. if any of you have even better libraries, the quality would be improved. if you have worse - well, brace yourselves.

relatively small size and non-CPU intensive (however dependant - it slows when the CPU becomes busy with highter prioritized tasks), plus the fact that it doesn't clutter up the wavesound channels, it's well suited for work radio.

beware - lots of them are nothing but painful to listen to. but what's good is good. or at least mildly amusing. alright, let's say "interesting".

I find it's a lot like an audible way of interpreting a score sheet of music notation, since that's really what the computer presents. mechanic and yes, pretty static. but helpful nonetheless. here are a few tasters:

Rage Against The Machine - Know Your Enemy (instrumental)
Metallica - Damage, Inc.
Tool - 46 & 2
Tool - Ænima
Pantera - Mouth For War
Type O Negative - Love You To Death

when browsing along the archive yourselves, the larger files usually equal higher quality.

the good news is that conversion of MIDI files to polyphonic ringtone format is possible. hey, hey! =)
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I'm hoping the DLCS really is around the corner. in fact I would like to take a small trip down to Outland today with that specific quest in mind.

last night was kinda weird with Callie's colleagues drinking. and stand up festival was crammed with people inside the tent.

I loved Ike Vil's set at the Catharian Cellar on Wednesday. interested parties must check out his playlist here. I was right, Magnoose, it was Nephilim too!

and I do need to train myself better still when it comes to feeding. I've realized that now. and just now, after I had written the last sentence, Callie said, "maybe you feel like going out and buying yourself a loaf of bread?"

I'll take that as an omen. =)
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Yes, it was unforgettable. As the last rays of the sun setting behind the steep, trollish mist-encircled mountains bid the band goodbye they played the last number, a bridal march from Jämtland. And I wept again. Best gig I've been to since Kari.

As I'm typing this in during our journey back, I must say a few more things than I have written on the pencilled sheet of paper in my lap. I sought out the band members after Briskeby had played their last song. Magnus told me that when he accidentally lost his Gibson on the stage floor during his wild flailing, despite it appearing as if it were glued to him, he got very worried since it was a Robotcaster, a signature custom build especially for him. But it did survive.=)

And later I had the privilege of tipping Sveinung to Famntak.

np: Gluecifer from stage
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