David Knights' Weblog

September 17, 2009

IPMS/USA National Conventions

Filed under: IPMS — dknights @ 6:20 pm
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I’ve been to 16 of them.  Below I rate them in order of enjoyment 1(best) to 16 (worst).  A big part of the rating is personal.  An example is 2007 Va. Beach.  I was only able to attend on the last day, so I didn’t get nearly as much out of the convention and thus didn’t enjoy it as much.  This list is still fluid in my mind, so I may rerate them again in the future.

1985 Indianapolis #9
1986 Sacramento
1987 Washington DC
1988 Dayton #13
1989 San Diego
1990 Miami
1991 St Louis #8
1992 Seattle
1993 Atlanta #7
1994 Omaha
1995 Albuquerque #10
1996 Va Beach #1

1997 Columbus
1998 Santa Clara
1999 Orlando
2000 Dallas #12
2001 Chicago #11
2002 Va Beach #5
2003 OK City #6
2004 Phoenix #3

2005 Atlanta #2
2006 Kansas City #4
2007 Anaheim #16
2008 Va Beach #14
2009 Columbus #15
2010 Phoenix
2011 Omaha

September 16, 2009

Movie review: Gods and Generals (2003)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:58 pm
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Bad movie.  I hate to say it, but really bad movie.  I like the companion movie, Gettysburg,  other than the choice of Martin Sheen to play Lee. (This was possibly the worst casting decision ever made in movie history.)  So I was hoping I’d like Gods and Generals.  It is a prequel to Gettysburg, focusing on the time between Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville.  The main focus of the story, such as it is, is Stonewall Jackson.  The problem is, there is no story, no plot to the movie.  It is really, really bad.  The only good thing I can say is that Sheen doesn’t play Lee again.

September 15, 2009

Movie Review: I am Legend (2007)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:16 pm
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Color me surprised.  Will Smith can act.  I’ve always liked him in comedy/action flicks like Independence Day, the Men in Black movies and Hitch.  I thought Wild, Wild West was awful, though that wasn’t due to his bad acting.  Over the weekend, I finally got around to seeing him in I am Legend.  Reprising the role made famous by Charlton Heston in The Omega Man, Smith does an excellent job with a demanding role.  For the first 40 minutes or so, there is nothing on the screen but him and a dog.  His acting, particularly his portrayal of a man deprived of human contact, is belevable and compelling.  I enjoyed this movie and though it was every bit as good as the original, maybe better.

September 14, 2009

Favorite quotes #3

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:44 pm
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The unshakeable faith in computer models shown by the scientists who programme them would be the envy of any religious sect in the world.–Christopher Booker

September 13, 2009

Magazine review: IPMS/USA Journal Vol. 21 No.3

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 6:06 am
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 WOW.  All I can say is wow.  This issue has been out a while.  (In fact the next issue is also out)  I am just getting around to writing the review, and that is a shame.  This is the best issue of the IPMS/USA Journal that I have seen.  The lead article is on the 72nd scale YB-17 that was entered, and won Best Aircraft, at the 2008 Nationals in Virginia Beach.  This article alone is worth the price of a year’s membership.  You have to admire the author/builder Ben Guenther for writing this article for the Journal first, since I am sure that he could sell the article to any major modeling magazine.  Chris B. and his crew have been turning out one fine issue after another, and have made the magazine one of the best currently available today, and that includes all of the for-profit magazines from the major publishers, both here and overseas.

 The magazine also has a nice article on building a B-36 and a how-to on making clear canopies.  This is a must have issue.  Every serious modeler ought to join IPMS/USA on the strength of the magazine alone.

September 12, 2009

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modeling Vol.31 #1

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:13 am
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I’ve previously reviewed the new look of Scale Aircraft Modelling (Vol.31 #2).  This was the first issue of the new look, but as I’ve said, I do these out of order.  Most of what I’ve said in the previous review applies here.  For the 72nd scale modeler, this issue has limited appeal.  There are several 48th and 32nd scale build articles, but nothing of real interest to the 72nd scale modeler.  There is a nice article on pacific wrecks with some color side views of late WWII pacific war aircraft.  The illustrations are ok, but are not up to the current technology of color side view illustrations.

September 11, 2009

What in God’s name happened to us?

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:51 am
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Is this where we are?  How did we get to this sorry state?  Are we going to wait till China or India has fast food restaurants on the moon?

September 10, 2009

Can we get this guy elected here?

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:44 am
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I like this guy.

My Favorite movies #1: Hellfighters (1968)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:22 am
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In a previous post, I mentioned that there are some movies that I have to watch whenever I come across them on TV.  As I mentioned in that post they aren’t necessarily my favorite movies, but one that is both a must watch and one of my favorites is Hellfighters.  It is the story of oil well firefighters, loosely based on Red Adair.  It is a John Wayne flick, and I like nearly everything Wayne did.  He was an underapprecated actor, mainly because his acting was so effortless it didn’t look like acting.  The movie also stars Jim Hutton, an excellent actor, who was the Tom Hanks of his time.  Hutton didn’t have Hanks’ acting ability, but he possessed the everyman likeability that Hanks brings to his roles.  This is one of my favorite movies.

September 9, 2009

The future of healthcare in America

Filed under: General — dknights @ 9:12 am
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This story can’t possibly be true.  At least I hope it can’t.

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