Tuesday, September 27, 2005


That Chiefs game last night sucked.

Here are the non-Chiefs I am blaming for the loss:
  1. The Rock (why the Denver jersey?)
  2. Geena Davis (I never really liked her anyway)
  3. My buddy's new baby (before he was born, the Chiefs were undefeated...think about THAT)*
  4. The guys that tried to carjack someone from my office yesterday, but were foiled by a stick shift (stupid criminals)
  5. Ron Burgundy (he lent his nasty look to Jake Plummer)
  6. Bradley Cooper (for leaving his Alias character of Will behind to be on a new show, which is pretty good)
*OK...not really, he's super cute.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

you're in control, is there anything you wanna know...

I've been meaning to post about this since Wednesday night.

Alli and I were able to make it out to Sandstone...ERRR...Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Wednesday for the Coldplay concert.

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

Say what you want about Coldplay...those guys are good. I've been listening to them for a few years now and I really enjoy their music (part of my "I love everything British" motif, I think). There are others who might say they are a bunch of wankers, but I think that they are one of the best bands in the world.

They certainly perform like it at least.

What an amazing show. Despite having to wait over an hour for the show (what was up with that?) after the less-than-great opening act, Coldplay delivered with an electric show that was well-performed, well-lit, and interactive.

Square One

Opening the show with the opening track ("Square One") from their latest album, X&Y was apropos (and really cool because they had this digital timer behind them during the song, which was sweet) and the show took off from there. Following "Square One" was "Politik" from A Rush of Blood to the Head (their last album). What followed was an eclectic mix of songs from all 3 of their albums (Parachutes being their debut effort). It was the set list that was peppered with their hits (Yellow, The Scientist, Speed of Sound), fan favorites (Green Eyes, Kingdom Come), and songs that should have been more widely listened to because they are just so stinking good (Everything's Not Lost, White Shadows, Low).


The show only lasted an hour and a half, which seemed a little short to me (especially since we spent almost that long getting home from the show), but then again, I could have sat there and listened to them all night, playing their entire catalog, covering Johnny Cash (no wait, they did that) and anyone else.

4 personal highlights of mine from the show:
  1. Getting to take my camera in WITH telephoto lens (OK, so they didn't find it in my bag...what was I going to do, NOT use it?)
  2. During "Low", they had everyone flash their cameras at once and they used it as a background on their screen backdrop...that was pretty cool.
  3. White Shadows (this remains one of my favorite tracks from the new album...I love it)
  4. The whole encore
#3 was particularly cool because during "In My Place", Chris "Mr. Gwyneth" Martin darted off the stage into the crowd and climbed up on top of the sound booth, which happened to be about 20 feet from where we were sitting. It was madness when that happened, but I managed to get a couple of pretty cool pics from it:

In My Place

All in all, it was totally worth the hour-and-a-half it took us to get home. I would go see them again in a heartbeat, but I'd like to have a little better seats next time...just to be a little closer. Even still, the show was awesome. Probably jumped into the top 5 concerts I've ever seen (the other four? now that's another post...)

If you'd like to see more pics from the show, check out my flickr set here.

Full Set List:
Square One
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
Speed of Sound
Don't Panic
Everything's Not Lost
White Shadows
The Scientist
Green Eyes
Kingdom Come
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash Tribute)
Swallowed in the Sea
In My Place
Fix You

hosting officially switched

iPaska is evil.

We will no longer be hosting alliarnoldart.com or topfivedesign.com at iPaska. Apparently, they are run by an evil man who is now being investigated for tax evasion. Plus, the sites have been down for 2 days (NOT ACCEPTABLE). We have officially switched over to TextDrive and I am pretty excited about it. Not only is our plan comprehensive, but it also supports some of the most highly regarded web developers out there.

TextDrive was created by the guy who developed TextPattern, a commonly used CMS. Many other members of the company are considered the web's elite, including the developers of such projects as Ruby on Rails, Wordpress, and Basecamp.

I'm excited about the new host (although I'm a little bummed about the whole "out more money than I should be" thing) and I will keep everyone updated when I get up and running.

iPaska site down...

I have been trying to figure out what is going on with Alli's site (as well as mine) for the last two days. Our hosting company (thus far) has been unresponsive to my requests for support.

Has anyone heard anything about anything?

I can't find any information on the internet. I have even contacted the datacenter that houses most of their equipment and they were extremely nice in responding, but had no answers for me, even saying that they themselves have not been able to get ahold of them.

I'm starting to worry a little bit and I may have to explore another hosting company very soon. For the site to be down for a little bit is one thing, but this has been more than 2 days now. Something needs to happen.

And quick.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Color Purple

No, not the movie.

I'm talking about the tendency of the media to classify someone as a "blue-state" person or a "red-state" person.

That's unfortunate.

See, I live in the bluest of the blue states, Kansas. I voted for George Bush because, to me, he was really the better choice of two candidates. John Kerry never inspired anyone and so I voted for who I thought would be the best for the job out of the two top candidates.

There's something inherently wrong with my reasoning, though: I'm purple.

I'm fiscally conservative (low taxes, small government, etc), but socially, I am at the very least a moderate, but I'm likely much more a little left of center.

Therein lies my dilemma (as well as that of many other people). Where is our political party? Over the past several months, the optimism that I maintained throughout the 2004 Presidential Race has been worn down. I realize that President Bush is probably doing the best he can, but the problem is that he (as well as any other president) usually has to answer to a strong lobby by his political party's strongest proponents. For Republicans, that happens to be the religious right of the country. Now, I consider myself a part of the religious part, but why do we have to be considered "The Religious Right". There are a lot of people that I know who are what might be considered a part of "The Spiritual Left." Do I hold my own Christianity above theirs? Absolutely not.

Until we are provided with a viable, middle-of-the-road political party, there will continue to be the bickering and name-calling that exists in Washington today. A third voice needs to be heard...that of the level-headed, whose allegiance is not necessarily to lobbyists or interest groups, but to the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

I think that I am young enough (29 this year) that it isn't unreasonable for me to expect to see this come to fruition before I become an insignificant member of the polls. Unfortunately, the stranglehold on Washington by the red and blue parties doesn't really allow for purple. Independents are looked down upon and have trouble gaining a large stage unless they are either completely loaded or completely crazy.

The question that remains is:
Why is it that our country only seems to function under a two-party system?

I can't figure it out. This is AMERICA. The Land of Opporunity. The Melting Pot (mmm...fondue...). The Big Salad Bar. Isn't it a bit near-sighted for the Powers That Be to think that we are all represented by two major political parties?

It just feels like there are large chunks of the country that are relatively ignored because their demographic just doesn't fit into the system.

Until that happens, our country will continue to be sharply divided. I hope that someday we'll see the end of that division.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I've been tagged...

Brad tagged me with a meme...here's the concept:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

My 23rd post, 5th sentence reads:
Now I'm not mad at these kids by any means...enjoy your youth, I say!


I guess I'm supposed to carry this on. I'll tag Brian, brother Mikey D, Kevin (he won't do it...too cool), Char, and Alli (I would tag her if she had the 23 posts so far, but she'll get there)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Emmy Recap

I'll do my best to re-cap the Emmys (even though I was mostly watching the Chiefs beat the Raiders in Oakland).

Here's what I saw:
  1. Couldn't be more glad to see Everybody Loves Raymond off the air. I can't stand that show. Seinfeld was funny, Raymond was not. And Brad Garrett winning for Supporting Actor over Jeremy Piven for Entourage was a traveshamockery.
  2. So so SO happy that LOST won the awards that it did (Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore), Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series). JJ Abrams can be credited (along with Mark Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives) with the return of scripted television. Abrams' other show, Alias, is easily my favorite on TV, but this year, LOST really managed to capture my interest. Great show...can't wait for season two to start this week.
  3. Not enough Ellen. She's funny. Let her do her thing.
  4. Didn't watch the red carpet, but I heard that Kathy Griffin once again was delegated to the bridge and did not get to interview celebrities on the Red Carpet. Star Jones was down there and I CANNOT STAND HER. All she does is pucker up and tell people how great they are. She is so annoying.
  5. Thought that the Brokaw, Rather, Jennings piece was cool, but Dan Rather annoys me. Brokaw was the most eloquent I've ever seen him.
  6. Out of the 3 Desperate Housewives up for Best Actress in a Comedy, the one that I thought least likely to win, did. Really thought Patricia Heaton was going to win, but gave Teri Hatcher an outside chance.
  7. I predict that with Raymond off the air now, Will and Grace will dominate in its last year next year. It will be interesting with Desperate Housewives up again and all the new shows this year.
Anyway, that's all. We shall see what the year brings.

P.S. I'm sore. Played volleyball last night for the first time in ages (OK, not ages, but at least since Corporate Challenge). Sore today.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Worst (early) movie of the year

Without question, it's Lord of War.

I don't care whether it is based on a true story or not, Andrew Niccol really has a stinker on his hands. While The Truman Show (which Niccol wrote) was at least witty in its self-deprication, Lord of War is just plain depressing. And when it tries to be anything more, it's just more depressing.

I'm sure that Niccol thought that he was making some sort of statement against war or guns or whatever, but this movie was so littered with senseless violence (much like the real world) that you almost couldn't look at it.

Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune remarks:
"The film is morally unsettling on its surface, and then you realize the surface
is all you're going to get."

This film is brutal, both in imagery and just all around story. Unfortunately, it can't be saved (like Niccol's last penned film, The Terminal) by its star, Nicholas Cage (The Terminal was somewhat saved by Tom Hanks).

Cage does a serviceable job as the completely morally bankrupt Yuri Orlov, but on screen, he is completely outacted by a surprising Jared ("I'm pretty") Leto, who plays his brother and Ethan ("he was good in that one movie") Hawke, who plays an Interpol agent determined to bring him down. Bridget Moynahan does the best acting I've seen her do in this movie as Orlov's trophy wife. But the story is just depressing. It tries to be satirical and just isn't.

I truthfully almost walked out of it (and I almost NEVER do that).

My IMDb rating: 3 out of 10

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Best (early) movie of the year

I finally got around to seeing Crash last night. My brother bought it and after So You Think You Can Dance, we watched Paul Haggis's masterpiece film about a crazy night in Los Angeles. The film deals with relationships between black and white and latino and asian, between man and woman, between mother and son, between employer and employee, and between protector and protected.

What a powerful film.

Haggis, who was responsible for penning last year's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby, writes and directs this incredible movie which features one of the largest ensemble casts in recent history. Not only does he direct them with skill, he manages to get lifetime best performances out of actors and actresses who I wasn't sure had much skill.

Don Cheadle (who is ALWAYS brilliant) provides a somewhat common thread through the movie as an LAPD detective. His quote at the beginning of the movie provides a strong statement and serves as the basis for the rest of the feature:
"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."
The supporting cast is terrific and Terence Howard, who finally got a starring shot in this summer's Hustle and Flow is powerful in his role as a television producer who struggles with his own rights and self-image as an African-American man. Sandra Bullock puts out her best performance of a lifetime (WAY better than her turn in 28 Days) and Ryan Phillippe and Matt Dillon are terrific as two sides to the Good Cop - Bad Cop.

What impressed me most was that with the multiple story lines that were going on during this movie, I never once got confused with what was going on. Haggis truly is a great screenwriter.

This movie really reminded me a lot of another movie last year that came out extremely early last year and was my clear choice for movie of the year last year, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My fear is that because of its early release, Crash may suffer some of the same fate come Oscar time (Eternal Sunshine was largely ignored, despite being a brilliant, original, incredibly-acted film). And the question remains, who would you nominate. Almost all of the actors represent supporting roles (Cheadle really being the only one who could be justified as a lead actor), but I think that almost all of them should be nominated.

Truthfully, if Crash isn't nominated come Oscar time in some way or another, I'll be really surprised. I just hope that it doesn't get punished for being released early in May.

My IMDb rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Going to the Dentist

Could anything suck more? Now don't get me wrong, I love my dentist. He's an old family friend and a great guy. But the whole "cleaning" thing (or as I like to call it, The Chair of Gum Destruction)...I could do without it. At least with the instruments they use (metal? really?)...

But you do get free stuff...2 things of floss, a toothbrush, some toothpaste, and some Listerine. Good times.

But not really.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

T-minus 3 hours

Until the Chiefs season starts!!!

Wish I was there to watch them smack down the Jets, but alas, I'll be watching the broadcast from the comfort of a couch.

I'm hoping that their defense is not an embarrassment this year and I think that they won't be...with the free agents we've added and a full year under Gunther Cunningham as D coordinator, they should be good to go.

We shall see...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New iPods!

Apple continues to innovate. We thought that today was just going to be the announcement of the new iTunes-capable Motorola phone that everyone KNEW was coming out. Instead, they also announced the abandonment of the ipod mini line and replaced it with the ipod nano, a 2GB and 4GB version of the big ipod, only without the size. The new ipod nano is only 1.5 oz.

You read that right. 1.5 OUNCES.

Very cool stuff. Brian beat me to the punch when publishing this, but I thought about it right when it came out.