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C  L  U  B  T  O  P  5
Custom roasted in the Texas Hill Country.
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December 15, 2009

NOTE FROM CHRIS:

Director James Cameron’s $300-million-budget scifi
CGI spectacular “Avatar” hits theaters this Friday.
So what has the dude behind “Terminator”
and “Titanic” cooked up for us this time?

The Top 14 Surprises in “Avatar”

14> Audiences haven’t been this spellbound by a blue-faced
exercise in celluloid self-gratification since David
Carradine’s homemade snuff film.

13> The movie ends after 30 minutes, when Arnold Schwarzenegger
returns as the Budget Terminator.

12> Due to a blown budget, credits are written in crayon on extra
wide notebook paper.

11> Since avatars are half-human/half-alien, Dick Cheney was
allowed to do a cameo as himself.

10> The leaves on the trees are actually $50 bills.

9> “Che’ri” the red alien and “Ke’li” the green alien look
suspiciously like strippers.

8> Squint just the right amount and you’ll swear there’s a plot.

7> Of the $300 million budget, one third went to erasing
Sigourney Weaver’s wrinkles using CGI.

6> The leader of the blue-skinned race is none other than
Courtney Love.

5> Fun fight scene where the blonde Marine tries to pry alien
Ti’ger out of his spaceship with a 9-iron.

4> Wilford Brimley’s surprise cameo as Gargamel.

3> The giant space portal thru which the Marines travel is
actually an extreme close-up of Julia Roberts’mouth.

2> A hollow, mind-numbing suckfest has never *looked* this
spectacular!

and Topfive.com’s Number 1 Surprise in “Avatar”…

1> Only IMAX theaters can show the film because regular screens
are too small to display James Cameron’s massive ego.

[ Copyright 2009 by Chris White/TopFive.com ]

The runners-up were just as good …

What Matters Now

This is a nice collection of very short essays about … mmm…. maybe our digital lives.  Some cool bloggers you know probably contributed to this.  Merlin Mann did.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/12/what-matters-now-get-the-free-ebook.html

This is an example I like:

We are all on a search – a search for more meaning
in our lives.
Through choosing to enrich other people’s lives,
you add meaning to both their life and your own.
Some simple steps to follow:

1. Commit: Commit to lifetime-relationships that
span events, companies, causes and geographic
boundaries.
2. Care: Care for the concerns of others as if they
are your own.
3. Connect: Aim to connect those who will benefit
and enrich each other’s lives in equal measure.
4. Communicate: Communicate candidly. Tell
people what they should hear rather than what
they want to hear.
5. Expand Capacity: Aim to expand people’s
capacity to help them give and get more from their
own lives.

The Litmus Test: If you are truly enriching
someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their
past. They think their lives would have been even
better if they had met you earlier.
You are only as rich as the enrichment you bring to
the world around you.
 —Rajesh Setty is an entrepreneur, author and speaker based in
Silicon Valley. His blog is Life Beyond Code.

San Francisco

SutterStreet1

We went to San Francisco for the weekend – had a great time!  Saw Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo – very, very good.  Jaw dropping entertainment for all ages.  Watch the trailer on the link for a tiny taste.  We were right up front.   We ate at Ponzu after the show.  Also super.  We pretty much ate one of everything they had.  It was great!  Except that they ran out of Guinness on tap, if you can believe that.  And that was after we’d all had one beer. Had to change horses in the middle of the stream as it were.

We stayed at the Larkspur Hotel on Sutter St.  It was wonderful!  Great place for the price.   They’ve redone the inside and made a lot of long, narrow suites.  Great furniture, windows that opened, a city view for miles.  Nice Lather shampoo (I want to call those free toiletries condiments but I suppose that’s just not quite right and toiletries will have to suffice) … and toiletries. They supplied eucalyptus bath salts for my bathing pleasure.  The bed was even great.  If it had a restaurant and/or real bar I’d give it a 5 out of 5.   As it was, there were plenty of both within easy walking distance. If you can define going up and down hills as easy.  Damn San Francisco is lumpy.

Bad Parenting

Fur kid parenting, that is …

scuffeatscrab

This would be Scuff having crab on newspaper with us the other night.  The Montevina Zinfandel was very good but also very sulfite-heavy and just about made me explode.  Scuff and Bob both liked it, though.

Gad, I guess I should straighten up that bookshelf.  Amazing how I don’t notice that stuff at all unless it’s in a picture or company is coming.

Free association picture sharing

LewiChair

I ask you:  Which parts of the couch and chair do you think are most comfortable?  I wish I could fit up there.

CheetahCouch

Cheetah becoming one with the back of the couch.   This is the diabetic cat.  She comes up and sits on the half wall there beside her when it’s time to get her shot.  Much better than trying to chase her down and fish her out from under the bed.

I think I posted this next set already, but I can’t find them so maybe I dreamed it.  It’s from last summer.

First pic, I’m stealing grapes from the neighbor’s grape vines, thereby keeping the rats/mice slightly less well fed. Thanks, Bob, for capturing this for posterity.

stealingGrapes

This is the spoils of the raid:

graperesults

Sweetest, most delightful little grapes on the planet.  I’ve never bought anything even close in the store.  This area is where the Thompson Seedless was developed.  Probably from these old bushes. 🙂  Lorena:  I LIKE GRAPES.

Here are my kitchen window cacti.  First one was Bob’s and was already there when I moved in.  It was much, much shorter and I don’t believe it had ever been watered. (“What do you mean, how often do I water it?” asked Bob. “It’s a cactus!  It doesn’t really expect water, does it?”)

Spindly

This next cactus is one of those ugly hybrids.  It looked like an elephant ear when I bought it.  No special appendages.  It looks very phallic now but was much worse when it only had two round knobs under the tall skinny part.  Yes.  It did.  Now, it looks sort of  … cancerous. I can’t decide if it’s better or worse.  I just think ZOMBIES when I see it.

lewdcacti

Last but not least, I finally had a cactus bloom:

blooming

Yeah, I know.  Green thumb.  It’s not even a real cactus.  So the bloom seemed perfect.

Time to break out the Christmas boxes now.  MORE WINE, PLS

Squid shower head

squidshowerhead

I could really go for this.  Think of all the complicated places you could squirt! From different angles! All at once!

Got this via BoingBoing but now I can’t find it again to link it.  Something from Cory Doctorow.  Later, babes.

In which Sissy shows us how tense she is

This dog … has no trouble relaxing.  She leans on Bob, and then pretty soon she’ll melt right into the floor.  Have you ever seen a dog sit like this?  Lorena, watch for signs in Backup Dog.  This started after 5 years.  It may be happening because she is getting as old and fat as we are.  Le Sigh.

sissyrelaxes

And here she has a pillow for her head that I had conveniently tossed at Goob a little earlier.

pillowfight

Speaking of Le Pew or something, I thought these were cute:

saltandpepe