The Haphazard Blog

Archive for September, 2009

Roman Polanski Supporters?

by on Sep.30, 2009, under News

It’s astounding how many celebrities think Roman Polanski should be set free. That seems like a very big disconnect between those who support him in Hollywood and the average person. I’m shocked Woody Allen leads the list.

I’d say I have lost respect for the following people, but I don’t know any of them. I respect their talents as artists, but anyone who doesn’t feel that Polanski should finally face his punishment for such a horrific act and should be set free have a serious problem. What he did is simply indefensible. He was free to do whatever he wanted for over 30 years.

Some notable people who want him released by the Swiss:

Darren Aronofsky (Director, Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler)
David Lynch (Director, Twin Peaks, Mullholland Dr.)
John Landis (Director, Animal House, The Blues Brothers)
Jonathan Demme (Director, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)
Martin Scorsese (Director, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York)
Michael Mann (Producer, Heat, The Insider, Ali, The Aviator)
Monica Bellucci (Actress, Dracula, Matrix Series)
Sam Mendes (Director, American Beauty)
Steven Soderbergh (Director, Pleasantville, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Series, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind)
Terry Gilliam (Director, Monty Python Series, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys)
Tilda Swinton (Actress, Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Curios Case of Benjamin Button)
Wes Anderson (Writer/Director, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited)

The directors seem to stick together.  Maybe the director’s guild pushed it?  In any case, I really can not understand how this guy has so much support without him ever saying he didn’t do what he was accused of doing.

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Fall TV is Starting

by on Sep.29, 2009, under Entertainment, TV

New and continuing shows are premiering on network TV now. There isn’t really much that is coming out that I feel like are worth watching. I gave some shows that seemed interesting a chance. I’ll include some of my thoughts. Before I do a couple general things I observed so far. ABC Studios (formerly Touchstone) has decided they want to promote more and it seems every show the produce (on ABC at least) start with “an ABC Studios production” to kick off the credits. My worst time slot is Thursday’s at 9 PM ET. FOX made it even worse by moving Fringe there.

Melrose Place (CW, Tuesdays at 9): I watched one episode. I never watched the original so I think that one aspect probably hurt. The show just didn’t seem all that interesting to me. Wow, someone was murdered. The characters weren’t interesting to me.  On a slight aside, Jessica Lucas is beautiful. She looked familiar, so I checked her filmography on IMDb and she was on CSI. She was the new CSI who just vanished. I thought she was better than the other girl they brought in last season (who they also wrote out).

Jessica Lucas, Melrose Place

The Beautiful Life (CW, Canceled): This was marginally better than Melrose Place. Although that doesn’t mean much since they canceled the show after the second episode. For anyone who was a fan, it’s really dead. They shut down the show during production. The CW will not be bringing it back later and if they do show the few episodes that were shot, there was no heads up so there won’t be any type of ending.

Community (NBC, Thursdays at 9:30): I’m giving this show a little bit more of a chance than I normally would. I bailed on The Office way too early and was horribly wrong on that show. So far, I’m not impressed.  Ken Jeong (the Spanish Teacher) is a MD in real life. He was practicing at Kaiser before getting into comedy/acting full time.

Bored to Death (HBO, Sundays at 9:30): This joke probably has been beaten to death, but the title is perfect:  viewers are bored to death watching this show. There’s “smart comedy” and then there is this. It reminds me of movies by Wes Anderson. His stuff is very (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited) hit or miss with people. So I’m not shocked that Jason Schawartzman is in this show. I thought Lucky Louie was way better than this and HBO killed it. Since all they care about are critics, this show will probably be back.

Accidentally On Purpose (CBS, Mondays at 8:30): I gave this show two episodes. It’s just not that funny. CBS made a mistake canceling The Class two years ago and Worst Week last year. Each was at least funny. The Class had superior characters as well.

the forgotten (ABC, Tuesdays at 10): The premise (solving unsolved murders of nameless victims) and characters weren’t interesting to me. The show just seemed to drag on. There wasn’t anything compelling about the “mystery”.

The Good Wife (CBS, Tuesdays at 10): The premise seems a bit lame (the wife of a cheating politician goes back to work), but I like legal dramas. The case was interesting. I’ll see if they continue to be. There’s some promise here if it doesn’t start to really lean on her back story and the cases all go back to her difficulties in having a crappy husband.

Mercy (NBC, Wednesdays at 8): I’m not watching this anymore. The characters stunk. It will likely draw comparisons to Hawthorne (on TNT). Hawthorne is a lot better.

Modern Family (ABC, Wednesdays at 9): This show is clever. It’s well done and uses the mockumentary style (The Office, Parks and Recreation) well. I think it will do well.

Cougar Town (ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30): I laughed. Nothing real special here besides that though. I found Modern Family to be superior.

Eastwick (ABC, Wednesdays at 10): This show will probably do pretty good for ABC, but it’s not all that appealing to me. I’ve never watched Charmed, but I imagine these shows would have similar audiences.

FlashForward (ABC, Thursdays at 9): I think this is my favorite new show so far. I enjoy these shows that have a more in depth story and a mystery (Lost, Fringe). Did anyone notice the Oceanic Air billboard? It said “Perfect Safety Record”.

Brothers (FOX, Fridays at 8): I think this show is a little better than Accidentally On Purpose. Unlike Friday Night Lights, the Actor in the wheelchair (Daryl Mitchell) is really paralyzed. (The actors on FNL, Scott Porter and Kevin Rankin do a good job, especially Kevin Rankin.) There are funny moments. I usually get bored with FOX sitcoms (except Arrested Development), so I’ll see how this one goes.

Trauma (NBC, Mondays at 9): Similar feelings as Mercy. The characters aren’t that good except maybe the helicopter paramedic. Again, a paramedic show on TNT (Saved) was done much better.

I think there are a few more new shows coming. I’ll recap them in a final grouping next month.

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Patriots vs. Falcons Recap

by on Sep.28, 2009, under Football, Patriots, Sports

Another week of the “Patriots don’t lose two games in a row” talk and they didn’t lose this one. They also looked pretty good. They played a little more balanced and Brady had a lot of time to make his throws unlike last week.

The offense looked better, but I don’t know if that’s because Brady had time to throw or if they were successful running the ball. With Wes Welker out, Randy Moss seemed to be doing everything. Later we found out he had a lot of back pain. Teammates were stretching him out during breaks and he had trouble getting his jersey on and off. Then CBS Sports put up an article saying he was dogging it the whole game. Brady looked more accurate and there was one point where some possible TDs were blown by Joey Galloway (stepped out of bounds at the back of the end zone) and Sam Aiken (cut his route short). The crowd also cheered Galloway when he made a catch. That is not a good sign for a WR when he gets the cheers for just catching the ball. I think the red zone offense is a concern at this point. They’re kicking a lot of FGs so far this season.

The defense looked even better. In the 2nd half, they allowed 78 yards, 2 1st downs in 15 total plays. Still no interceptions or real playmakers have emerged.  But it was solid team defense. Gary Guyton has done an admirable job filling in for Mayo.

Bill Belichick also made the gutsy call to go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 24. They were winning and it was only the 3rd quarter. He must’ve really felt they could get it pretty easy. Being up by only 6 points, missing that could’ve shifted momentum and led to a quick TD and them being down by 1.

Next up are the Ravens who people expect to be another good matchup for the Patriots. Their offense is a lot better, but their defense has fallen off a bit from past years.

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Roman Polanski Deserves to Rot in Jail

by on Sep.27, 2009, under News

I was a little too delighted to read that Roman Polanski was nabbed by the Swiss. I don’t know him personally, I really shouldn’t care. I think I first really knew who he was after he won the Oscar for The Piano. I couldn’t believe someone who drugged and raped a 13 year old, and then fled to avoid jail won an award. Child molesters are given a special place at the very bottom of the depths of society. They are the bottom of the prison food chain. Who would vote to give him an award? Who would work with him freely?  As far as I can tell, he doesn’t even deny any of it. A forty-something and a 13 year old! Why is this guy better than all the other child rapists? Because he made some good movies?

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Back Pain is Going Around

by on Sep.24, 2009, under Life, Physical Therapy

It seems like back pain is going around in my family. My mother’s back started to hurt in July and it was a couple months before it felt normal. Then my father’s back started to hurt right before he left for India, but it seemed to feel better after a couple of week. Next up, it was my turn.

A couple weeks ago, I woke up with pain in the lower left part of my back. I’ve woken up with back pain before in the past, usually from a hotel bed. It will go away after I’ve been up for a few hours. No such luck this time. When my parents went to the doctor, they got the generic diagnosis. For my mother, she was also sent to get an MRI and physical therapy. Her MRI looked normal and PT didn’t seem to be doing much. My father was just given a muscle relaxant. They were both also told to employ RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) and take Ibuprofen.

So I went with the generic treatment, RICE and anti-inflammatories. It didn’t help much at all. I am currently in physical therapy, so it was pretty easy to ask my PT about it and have her take a look. Even better for me, she has a lot of experience with back pain. So she started to dig around and found my lower back muscles were out of whack, “knots” and “strings” aplenty. She worked quite a few out using myofascial release. My back hurt in a different way (from what she did) for a couple days. It feels significantly better, but I think I need to have some more work done.

My PT also showed me something else that was interesting. It’s called a Nada Chair. It’s an interesting device. Put simply, it is a postural support for when you are sitting without any support in the back. It uses simple leverage to rotate your pelvis to make you sit straight. It forces you out of a slouched position and also prevents you from falling back into one. Its simplicity in doing this is amazing. It’s not particularly useful to me since my chair has a back that is positioned and shaped to keep me sitting tall, but to any other people who may stumble on this page, it may be something helpful.

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Patriots vs. Jets Recap

by on Sep.21, 2009, under Football, Patriots, Sports

I’m disappointed with that loss. It looked like Super Bowl XLII out there. The Jets walked the walk.

There was a lot said about Bill Belichick versus rookie QBs. I wasn’t really buying it. Usually rookie QBs are playing on a bad team. Belichick’s only loss to a rookie QB was against Ben Roethlisberger. Aside from the fact that he has proven to be a play maker, he was playing for a good team. (I can not call him a good QB when the passing playbook consists of 1 play per formation: Run the drawn route, then scramble.) I think Belichick strives when he has more film, not less. Same thing with Mark Sanchez. There is very little film on the guy. Let’s see how he looks in the second half of the season.

Tom Brady was a pinball back there. He wasn’t sacked so much, but he was hit and it seemed like he had little time to throw the ball. Despite that, the game was close. The difference was basically the way the Jets came out to start the second half. They got that quick TD (missed tackle on the long play) and it was enough of a gap. The Patriots could not get it done when they had the chance. Settling for FGs instead of TDs. It probably hurt not to have Wes Welker out there. His replacement for the game, Julian Edelman, had 8 catches, but I heard this morning that he was targeted 16 times. I’m sure they weren’t all drops, but I saw some for sure. Joey Galloway is supposed to be a really good WR, but it seems like his hands are worse than Ben Watson’s have been over the years. Isn’t Galloway a former Seahawk? That could explain it.

The defense did a good job for the most part. They were stopping the run and did well on third down. It certainly is better than was predicted. I would have to put the blame on the offense. They looked like the guys who played the first 54 minutes of the Bills game last week. They won’t be as prolific as 2007, but right now there is a chasm between how they look now and 2007. Surely they can only get (a lot) better going forward. And if the defense is better than expected, this could be a better all around team than 2007.

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CPR Not Always the Best?

by on Sep.20, 2009, under News

I read an interesting article in Parade Magazine today. It was about CPR after someone’s heart stops.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed to research that seemed to indicate that there is plenty of oxygen left in the blood and it’s much more important to do chest compressions to keep blood circulating to the brain than mouth-to-mouth to provide oxygen. This makes sense to me given that we can hold our breaths and still be OK for some time without getting more oxygen. The time you would take to do mouth-to-mouth would take away from chest compressions. And they recommend 100 compressions a minute.

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