Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Weekend, 2009 and an Avatar Experience

I couldn't keep my days straight over the weekend; Friday was Saturday and Saturday felt like Sunday to me but it was fine because the weekend seemed longer than normal and not the other way around.

We had a dozen people or more from my side of the family over for Christmas Eve and had an enjoyable evening seeing them all. We were a little worried that the heavy snowfall we got would cause most everyone to have to cancel but they all made it and we were happy for that. We let technology fill in the gaps and bring us together with those who were separated from us by too many miles. Melody, my niece in Portland had the idea to connect with us via Skype and a good idea it was. I downloaded the 1.9mb file and tested it the night before with my brother who also lives out there. The connection worked much better than I figured it would. Here's the result from his end and from ours. The only issue we had was the lighting on our end but I found a quick fix for that.

Tammy got me the two main things I wanted for Christmas; a Park Tool stool for working on my bikes in the garage and the 28 hour, 7 volume Lance Armstrong Tour de France DVD collection for viewing while I'm training on my rollers in the basement. I managed to get through the first 2 of 28 hours yesterday.

Most of my workouts lately have been behind either a shovel or my 23 year old Simplicity 8hp snowblower. We got seriously dumped on over the weekend with the type of snowfall that's sure to cause you to cringe watching an older, out of shape person attempt to tackle; wet and very heavy. The bank at the bottom of our driveway is getting as tall as I can remember it ever being in previous years. It would make for great fun if I was still in my tunneling phase of life but I've recently outgrown that. The kids across the street are taking full advantage of their similar mounds of snow as are other kids in the neighborhood. I watched the plow come through yesterday and you could tell the driver was being watchful for kids as he was going quite a bit slower than normal.

I brought Mom over to Keith and Tracee's Christmas day and spent an hour with them. Keith recently purchased a used 37.5 foot motor-home and I wanted to check it out. He and Tracee travel a weekend drag racing circuit in the Midwest during the warmer months and this will give them quite a bit more comfort than they've enjoyed in the past.

Tammy and I saw the movie Avatar last night. The fact that it was 3-d was the main reason I wanted to see it. I'm a bit of a 3-d geek. I'm not much for Sci-Fi stuff but Tammy is. Odd thing though was that not all screens offer it in 3-d. It's playing on three different screens at Burnsville's Atlantis 15 but only one of them was 3-d. It would be a good movie regardless but spend the extra few dollars (we paid $12.50 per ticket) and get the full affect. The glasses they give you come sealed in plastic and are quite a bit better than the cardboard framed lenses you've previously used.

We got there early enough so we could have a good choice of seats. There were two guys in their mid teens in line behind us there to see it for their fourth time. That was a good sign. They recommended sitting in the middle of the theater half way up the height of the screen which is what we did; smack dab in the middle. While the 3-d effects were quite cool they weren't so strong that they'd cause motion sickness.  They were maybe a little less than what I was expecting. Dizzying 3-d effects would've been an issue for Tammy so it was just right. I did catch myself flinching once as some chunk of exploding debris came at us and barely missed me over my right shoulder. I'd occasionally lift my glasses away from my eyes to see the difference with and without them. About what you'd expect; a little blurry.

The color in some of the scenes, especially the night scenes is spectacular. You're watching computer animation for the most part but it works so well that you won't give it a second thought. I liked the futuristic air traffic control stuff and thought it was mind-blowingly cool. I wouldn't mind staying around a few extra years at the 'place of dysfunction' if that's where we're headed. But then the movie takes place in August, 2154 so it's doubtful I'll make it that long.

The story was one of good vs evil. I won't say any more about the storyline in case you're going to see it except to say that I did find myself at one point pondering the similarities with what was happening in the movie and some of the wars we've waged in my time; Vietnam in particular. I mentioned that thought to Tammy after the movie and she thought maybe a stronger comparison could be made between European Settlers and Native Americans. Go see it. Two thumbs up from us.

1 comment:

mark said...

My 15 year old daughter said it reminded her of the Disney movie Pocahontas.