Sunday, February 25, 2007

2007 OSCAR picks

I am looking forward to watching the OSCARS tonight. Our home will be a little calmer than last year, when Kristen was having contractions leading up to delivering John.

Like the last two years, I will weigh in with my predictions for the major awards. With two very young children, I have only seen a few of the nominated performances.

I have gone at least five for six each year in the last decade, so I am hoping for a perfect night. Note: past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Supporting Actress: Through the years, this has been the one category that has consistently been hard to call. I only saw one of the five nominees this year, the adorable Abigail Breslin as the title character in Little Miss Sunshine. However, Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls has had this award locked for months.

Supporting Actor: Both nominees I saw were fantastic - Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine and Mark Wahlberg in The Departed. Both dominated the screen at will in their performances. However, Eddie Murphy has won every award in this category at the other award ceremonies and is still a favorite. Many voters have been turned off by his boorish acceptance speeches, but I think he holds on to take the statue.

Lead Actress: This year's biggest lock is Helen Mirren.

Lead Actor: This is a two man race between Forest Whitaker and Peter O'Toole. O'Toole is the sentimental favorite as a seven-time nominee with no previous wins (he was presented an honorary OSCAR a few years ago). Like Sean Penn, who won an OSCAR four years ago, Whitaker is a towering talent who prefers directing to acting. If he were a full-time actor, he might already have two statues. Tonight, Whitaker gets his first.

Director: Martin Scorsese finally wins for The Departed. It's about damn time.

Picture: The Departed was the only film I saw, and I thought it was outstanding. I am shocked it only had one acting nomination from at least a half dozen worthy performances. (Interesting tidbit - no best picture nominee had a best acting nominee).

This is a tricky call with four legitimate candidates. Only The Queen is truly a long shot. Little Miss Sunshine will be considered to cutesy. Letters from Iwo Jima had emaciated box office numbers, so it is out. That leaves Babel and The Departed. OSCAR likes to split director and picture, so I am picking Babel in an upset.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Call Me Zeus

This year, I will play golf for the fourth time in 2007. For a winter that has been remarkably mild, I have managed to pick cold and excessively windy days each time I have played.

Two weeks ago in Pinehurst, the wind blew at a steady 25mph. Today, the high will barely get out of the 30's, and wind gusts will push 30mph. The other two days have been just as trying.

The bad news is that type of weather is tough on scoring in golf. The good news is apparently I can control the weather.


Recycle, But Only a Little Bit

My company purchased a building last fall and extensively renovated the factory and offices. We finally got moved in at the first of this year.

We generate a fair amount of waste in our operation, and much of it is recyclable. We sell all of the copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless to companies that melt those raw materials and produce new goods with them. Our other recyclable items go to the curb in a brown recycling barrel supplied by the city.

When I called the city to request a recycling barrel for the new plant, I was told they would be happy to send us one barrel free of charge. When I asked about a second barrel, I was told it would cost $70.

So I am clear now on our city's recycling policy. They really, really want us to recycle, but we need to limit our weekly recycling to what one barrel will hold.


I'm Starchy!

Kristen and I are one of the couples interviewed in YES!Weekly's annual Valentine's Day edition (scroll to near the bottom of the article). We talked with news editor Jordan Green, who is one of the nicest people I have ever met.

We knew our place in the line up of couples. I'm an engineer, she is a CPA, and we have two kids, a dog, and a mortgage - pretty traditional profile.
Jordan describes me as a "starchy, clean-cut engineer." I have received a few snarky emails about my starchiness this week, and my college friends are rolling their eyes. They know how many times they were blamed for my antics due to my clean-cut look.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sometimes Nice Guys Finish First

Chris Weaver, aka PhotogBlog, celebrates winning an Emmy for his work on a story during the NCAA basketball tourney in Greensboro last year. Chris is a genuinely nice guy and obviously great at his craft.

Score one for the good guys!

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