Monthly Archives: December, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Review: Casino Royale

Casino Royale
Casino Royale

Casino Royale
My rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Bah. I was planning on writing this up as a proper review but now I’m feeling tired so you’re going to get the bullet point version.

  • The latest installment in the James Bond film empire is Casino Royale. This also happens to be the first installment of the books. The film doesn’t quite cover Bond’s origins, but we do get a few minutes of Bond “working up the corporate ladder”. Kind of interesting but given how little time was spent in those scenes; I wonder if there weren’t other areas that the time could have been better spent on.
  • Daniel Craig brings an interesting interpretation to the role of Bond. He has back the panache of Connery’s Bond but with a brutal violence that we’ve not seen before. I’m still not convinced this is the best path to go with but it’s certainly better than Brosnan’s somewhat stilted performances.
  • Some people seem to really like the villain of this film, Le Chiffre. However I found him to be weak and ineffectual; though to be fair had a better plan than some we’ve seen1.
  • The chase scene at the beginning was incredible. Though I know there are other movies out there which also do this sort of thing. Fortunately, I’ve not actually seen many of those movies so this still looked new/fresh/interesting rather than old and derivative.
  • It’s a pity they killed off Caterina Murino’s character so early in the movie. She was much more in the style of classic Bond women than Eva Green.2
  • Product placement sucks. In this case, I’m referring to the fact Bond was driving a Ford towards the start of the film. On the other hand, winning the classic 1964 Aston Marton in a card game was pretty cool.

1 Banker to world terrorists vs. Russian EMP satellites, no contest here.
2 Smoking hot vs. vaguely attractive.

Lifetime update

Not too much of interest been going on of late, so here’s the highlights.

  • Found out there was a Maid-Rite restaurant over in Marion. Tried it out and discovered it was nearly1 as good as Taylor’s Maid-Rite in Marshalltown.
  • Had some friends over for soup/chili.
  • Went to the company holiday party. Best company holiday party I’ve ever been to. Expected to put in a polite appearance, not staying more than an hour or so. Actually stayed nearly 3 hours.
  • Went to neighborhood holiday party. Huge house. Lots of people. Felt a lot like family christmas. Lots of people I don’t know talking to each other as they all know one another. Met a few nice people, but most of them were from out of the area and were just friends with the hosts
  • Got older. Went to Applebee’s for lunch with Michelle & her family. Ate way too much. Later went out and saw Casino Royale (good, but I’ll talk about that in another post).

1 The sandwiches were just as good, but their selection of shakes was pitiful. Granted the night we went over it was cold out and I didn’t have a shake, but 3 flavors? Weak.

Minor Home Remodel

New Sink & Vanity

We recently noticed that the sink in our master bathroom was leaking. I traced the link to a crack in the sink itself; so we decided to make do for a little while by using the sink downstairs. When you have to climb up & down stairs to wash your hands or brush your teeth that gets old real quick. This weekend we did the work to replace the sink. However we weren’t too keen on the idea of just replacing the pedestal sink with another one. So we splurged a bit and bought a vanity & sink kit from Home Depot. We also picked up a new faucet to go with it (the old one was hideous). Today we installed it. *ugh* Now I really understand why plumbers charge so much. It’s smelly, painful work in cramped quarters.

New Faucet

I’m really feeling it in my back and shoulders, from being tucked under the sink hooking all the pipes up. It didn’t help that this was the first sink I’ve ever installed, plus the first cabinet I’ve ever installed. Counting the extra trips back to Home Depot for items we forget (and items we didn’t realize we needed); it took us 6-7 hours to get everything hooked up. Right now we’re waiting for all the caulk to cure before we try running the water. By tomorrow night, we’ll know for sure if we did everything right. I’m fairly confident on everything except the drain pipe. So cross your fingers for us!

Incidentally, the photos attached to this post are the “after” versions. I forgot to do “before” shots and was too busy to do any “during”. Sorry. 🙁

Update 5 Dec 2006: All the caulk has cured and the sink works perfectly (no leaks). As an added bonus, it drains much better but I think that is due to the drain on the old sink not being hooked up properly.

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