fighting the lack of good ideas

righteous kill

Without giving any [important] plot points away, here goes my review of Righteous Kill, which I saw last night with a buddy of mine.

Righteous Kill is only the third film the two have made together, and the first time they have played together. In the Godfather Part II, De Niro played a younger Vito Corleone, while Pacino reprised his role as Michael – so they were never on the screen together. And in Heat, they played opposite each other.

Pacino and De Niro play partners who’ve been on the force for a long time, and are realizing they’re getting old. But that’s only the start.

I went in expecting to be entertained, and the film definitely did not disappoint.

This is a cop drama also starring John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy, Donnie Wahlberg, 50 Cent, and Carla Gugino. It’s definitely one of the more interesting cop-legal-action-thrillers I’ve seen in quite a while.

Plot twists, camera angle changes, and lighting all play into the slowly-built, maintained, and then exploded suspense.

Everyone’s a suspect, and everyone has to be trusted. The writing and directing are spot-on, and of the films I’ve seen this year, I think there’s a possible supporting Oscar role in this one.

parental notice:

Righteous Kill is rated R for a reason: there is quite a bit of violence (though it’s not gratuitous), some cursing, and strongly-hinted-at (but never shown) “deviant” sexual behavior.

now this looks pretty cool

I’m watching some show on the Science Channel while working from home today, and just saw a segment on the Venture One.\

It’s a three-wheeled, enclosed, hybrid car – but it’s classified as a motorcycle for licensing.If it actually does show up on schedule in 2010, I think I want one.

Wiki link.

2008 rtp product design street faire

I attended the 2008 RTP Product Design Street Faire this past Saturday.

I don’t know what I expected, but it was a lot of fun. I chatted with just about every vendor, finding out a lot about the local small business market surrounding product design, prototyping, and marketing.

And the free BBQ was a nice bonus 🙂

I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s event.

the results

I followed-through on my fuel experiment. However, the hoped-for mileage increase did not occur. I was hoping for a 2-3 mpg improvement, and saw 0-1.

The good news is that it didn’t decrease my mileage, as I have seen on some vehicles when going up the octane ladder.

Guess that means I’m back to buying regular.

an experiment

Even though I am outraged at the unjustified spike in fuel prices yesterday and today, I had to buy gas.

All of the gas stations near me (around the 54/55 junction) are out of regular. Several were totally out of fuel.

One, Crown, was not out of fuel, but they were out of regular. They’re also the cheapest near me at the moment.

So, since I needed gas anyways, I bought mid-grade. I haven’t bought anything but regular in years because I’ve done well enough mileage-wise on regular. That, and the last time I bought mid-grade, it was a 10% premium in price over regular.

In the intervening years, though, with the rise in gas prices, the percentage difference between regular and mid-grade has been reduced to about 3% – even though the absolute price difference hasn’t changed: it’s still about 10-12 cents.

If there is a 10% difference, my mileage would need to be 10% (or more) higher for it to be worthwhile to buy the more expensive gas. Generally I saw only a 1-2 mpg improvement, which on a 30+ mpg car was not worth the increased cost.

However, if I see a 2 mpg improvement on my Escape, that’s about 10%. With only a 3% price difference, that’s a worthwhile investment.

I’m going to use only mid-grade on my trip up to NY and my driving around Albany the next few days.

Then, on the way back, I’m going to use only premium (an additional 2-3% price premium over mid-grade) to see if I see another mileage improvement… unless using mid-grade provides no discernible difference, in which case I’ll go back to regular.

am i the only one outraged?

Starting Friday, gas stations around the Triangle started spiking their prices. They raised them because hurricane Ike might disrupt future gasoline production.

The cost of the gas they have in the ground is totally unaffected by whatever may or may not happen with this hurricane.

But folks made runs on gas stations fearing prices would rise.

Because of this, when I leave for NY later today, I’ll pay a 10-20% premium on the fuel the gas stations already have!

That’s f’ing ridiculous. There’s no two ways about it, this is pure gouging.

If the refineries are shut down for a couple days, then when you can’t get more gas, or it’s more expensive, then you can raise prices. Raising them ahead of time panders to people’s fear and panic and rips off your neighbors.

comment to rush

I emailed the Rush Limbaugh show Friday, and proffered the following:

What if John McCain picked Sarah Palin because he’s planning to retire before his term is up, and this is a masterful plan to pull the biggest political coup d’etat, a la femme?

If McCain/Palin get elected and McCain retires/resigns, Republicans will have the first female president: a major blow to the Democrats who want someone like Hillary elected.