Aug 31, 2016

The Best of the Worst

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

Welcome to the final installment of shark month. I’m thrilled you could be here and you’re in for a treat! I’ve saved the best of the worst shark movies I’ve ever seen for today. The third runner up for stupidest cheesiest worst shark movie is Avalanche Sharks.

Despite this movie being set in a ski resort, there are bikinis galore - it’s like a skier’s spring break in the mountains. Anyway, an avalanche releases these Native American snow shark spirits that are pretty much ready to eat everything in sight.

The management of the ski resort tries to cover up what’s happening - snow sharks eating the customers is bad for business and they have a bikini contest to sponsor. In the snow. But as much as they try and deny there’s anything fishy going on, they can’t keep up the pretense for long, there’s just too many people disappearing.

The avalanche also took care of the only way in or out of the area, so tourists and residents alike are trapped. You gotta love those shark fins zipping through the snow in pursuit of dinner. Sometimes a victim is just pulled down into the snow, which is then stained with blood, and sometimes a shark head pops up to chomp them. In one scene a group of bikini babes get eaten while they’re lounging in a hot tub.

The whole Native American curse thing is kind of an interesting twist, and this is what ultimately saves the survivors. While a heavily armed group keeps the shiver (the name for a group of sharks) of sharks occupied, this Asian woman hikes up the mountain and straightens up these sacred totem poles that were knocked askew by the avalanche. Not sure how she knew that would stop the sharks, but that was the least of the unbelievable things about this movie.

The second runner up for best (worst) of the worst shark movies is Sharktopus.

Is it a shark? Is it an octopus? No, it’s both! And not only that, it was secretly created for the U.S. military. Unfortunately, during a demonstration of its abilities, the sharktopus (aka S-11) goes AWOL and embarks on a journey of mass destruction along the Mexican coast.

The advantage this shark has over the others is the tentacles, that allow it to walk short distances on land. As it eats its way through the tourist population, the daughter of the head scientist (who was instrumental in helping create it), is frantically trying to save it. There’s also a really annoying reporter who’s determined to get the story that will make her famous.

Though it’s called a sharktopus, the tentacles are more like that of a squid, which it’s able to use to stab its victims. It eventually kills its creator, and his daughter realizes her little pet has to go. The movie itself may have been pretty bad, but at least it was good for a laugh.

This brings us to the best of the worst shark movies, my all time favourite, Ghost Shark.

Apparently mutant sharks appearing as a result of natural disasters - icebergs melting, tornados - is no longer the thing. Mystical events are. This one is actually pretty cool, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The movie starts out with a group of hicks on a fishing boat who fatally wound a shark, and its body ends up in this sacred cave that magically allows its spirit to come back for revenge. This shark’s special ability (well, aside from being a ghost) is that it can appear in any kind of water - ocean, swimming pool, sprinkler, puddle, glass of water ...

The first ones to notice the ghost shark are a bunch of teens, but of course no one believes their story, even after the shark crashes a pool party. This movie is also a little different than its predecessors in that it centers around a group of teens who are trying to figure out where the shark comes from and how to stop it.

They enlist the aid of a drunken lighthouse keeper named Finch (Richard Moll, what were you thinking?) who seems to know more about this than he’s letting on. The appearance of the ghost shark has as much to do with the circumstances under which Finch’s wife died as it does with the sacred cave, and if you want to know how, you’ll have to watch the movie. :-D

I hope you’ve enjoyed shark month as much as I have. Next week we’ll be back to just your regular bad Sci Fi and Monster movies. Until then, enjoy that swim!

Aug 29, 2016

Malleation Monday

malleation ~ hammering; a hammer-mark or dent

I think I’m going to have to create a page dedicated to the bathroom renovation, like I did to the book nook. Although I think out of necessity the work will be going much quicker on the bathroom than it did on the nook. At least I hope that’s the case. ;-)

When last I wrote, the hubby had started removing the bathroom tiles, carefully in case we wanted to reuse them. Notice the use of the past tense. To be perfectly honest, the original tile did not go with the colours of the porcelain fixtures, and painting it would have been more trouble than it was worth. So after a long search, we found the perfect tile online ... or so we thought.

The tile we saw on the Home Depot website was a blue/grey with rust coloured swirls through it. It looked nicer than it sounds. Having a son-in-law that works at Home Depot comes in handy at times. We had him check to see if they had enough of the tile in stock - they only had eight boxes instead of the nine we needed, but it would be no problem ordering in more. Then he mentioned there was another tile - same brand but a little more brown in it.

I am so glad curiosity got the better of us and we went to have a look! The original tile we’d picked out was nothing like the colours online - the blue online was gunmetal grey in person and the rust was brown. So disappointing! And to make matters worse, there was no consistency to the colours. A few of the tiles were the swirled pattern, most were a solid gunmetal with just a hint of other colour.

The tiles the son-in-law mentioned were better, but still not great. However, on the way out of that aisle I noticed a completely different tile - it still had some greys in it, but more browns and beiges, and the tiles were more consistent in appearance. And it was cheaper. We now have a stack of it in the music room at home.

Next up was the toilet. Hubby tried to order it online, but the website told him he could only buy it in-store - the problem being it appeared every store in the province had them except ours. So he printed off the specifications and gave them to the son-in-law to see if/when they’d be getting more in.

Turns out they did have one after all, only it wasn’t showing up in their inventory so they weren’t sure how to sell us something that didn’t exist. In the end, they gave it to us for half price. Score!

This weekend it was sinks and taps. Who knew it could be such a hard decision? Since this isn’t our primary bathroom, we decided on a vessel sink, which is one of the sinks that sits on top of a stand or counter. The one we both liked was a glass sink that’s kind of amber and brown from Home Depot.

A vessel sink also meant a stand to put it on. So darn! I had to go looking in some of my favourite thrift stores to see if I could find anything suitable. I didn’t find a suitable table, but one of the stores was having a dollar sale on clothing so I didn’t come home empty handed. ;-)

The hubby and I discussed it while sitting out on the deck, and being the handy sort of guy he is, he’s going to build a stand. Of course we’ll have to get the sink first, so he knows how big the stand needs to be, but the stand should be easy enough. But it’ll have to wait until he finishes the toy box (that looks like a treasure chest) that he’s building the grandbaby.

Next on the renovation list was a set of taps for the sink. Once again, not as easy a task as it sounds. There are a lot of taps to choose from. On a whim I checked the Lowe’s website and found a very reasonably priced set in a dark bronze colour. Only one problem. Our town doesn’t have a Lowe’s.

However, I just happened to have plans to go Toronto with a friend on Sunday, and we were going to have to pass several Lowe’s stores on the way. And in fact, there was a Lowe’s in the mall where she stopped for Starbucks. Looks like we’re all set for the bathroom.

In the words of Hannibal Smith, I love it when a plan comes together!

Aug 24, 2016

A Trifecta of Sharks

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

Welcome back to Shark Month!

When I sat down and started thinking about all the bad shark movies I’ve seen over the years, the Sharknado or Mega Shark movies were not the first ones that sprang to mind. There are a lot of really bad shark movies out there - bad acting, bad story lines, bad CGI (computer generated imagery). In fact, when I did a Google search to see if I’d missed any from my list, one site boasted 57 bad shark movies!

But a lot of them I haven’t seen yet. So I’ll be sticking to my own list and reviewing three this week, and my final three next week. Starting the countdown to the end of shark month, we have Malibu Shark Attack.

The movie begins with an underwater earthquake that stirs up a whole bunch of prehistoric goblin sharks. They begin eating people along a well populated beach and as the life guards are dealing with this, the tsunami alarm goes off. Apparently sharks aren’t the only thing the earthquake unleashed.

Several life guards and a couple of stragglers end up trapped in one of the lifeguard towers when the tsunami hits. It’s amazing that the only thing that survives is the tower - everything else is swept away. One of the occupants is injured, and the wound drips just enough blood into the water to attract the goblin sharks. As the survivors realize just how far from shore they are now, without any way of calling for help, the goblin sharks attack the tower they’re in, breaking through the floor and eating one of them.

A couple more people get eaten and the rest have relocated to the roof of the tower when a couple of guys who were constructing a house on the shore show up in a boat (one of the lifeguards was a former girlfriend of the home owner). They eventually make it back to the half-built house and there’s lots of action of them trying to avoid sharks in the flooded house. Eventually the survivors are rescued by a helicopter.

As terrible stupid bad shark movies go, this one is pretty tame, but it’s worth a look if only for the prehistoric goblin sharks. The full movie is available on YouTube, but it’s in two parts (which is why I didn’t include it here).

Next up we have the 2-Headed Shark Attack, a movie that’s so bad it’s funny, despite the body count. This movie features a boatload of students on a “Semester at Sea” whose ship hits a shark and starts taking on water. Fortunately there’s an island/atoll nearby, so the students and their professor take the dinghy over to check it out. While they’re exploring, one of the crew attempts to repair the ship and gets eaten by a two-headed shark.

There’s a few abandoned buildings on the atoll, and the kids and professor search them for metal that can be used for repairing the boat. Three of the kids sneak off to go swimming and get eaten by the shark. The island is shaken by a tremor and for the next hour or so we get a lot of screaming, running, and jiggling - over half the students are girls dress in shorts with bikini tops. Oh, and let’s not forget the two headed shark chomping on students.

Tremors continue to beset the island and although it almost looks as though the shark is ramming the coral anchoring the island, it’s actually just the atoll collapsing in on itself. More screaming, more jiggling, more kids getting eaten. The kids distract the shark long enough for one of the girls to fix the boat, but then one of the boys takes off in it, leaving everyone else behind. But karma’s a bitch and the shark sinks the boat - which is actually a good thing, because it sets off a distress beacon. Unfortunately, by the time help arrives, the island is pretty much gone and of the twenty-three souls that started out, only two survived.

I didn’t think anything could be worse that the 2-Headed Shark Attack, but then they came out with a 3-Headed Shark Attack. This movie starts out on a research station and quickly moves to the water. Apparently, the three headed shark is the result of a mutation cause by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is actually a real thing, and the people at the research station just happen to be studying this mutation. It actually makes for a bit of an interesting sidebar to the story.

When the research station is attacked, you kind of have to wonder why everyone didn’t just stay on the small island the station was attached to, but no, the survivors took off in a boat. Having its fill of scientists, the shark follows a trail of beer cans and garbage to a party boat filled with rich kids where it starts chomping its way through the passenger list. This is one hungry shark!

Answering a distress call that was put out is what is supposed to be a fishing boat, but these guys look more like drug runners or something and they’re all heavily armed. You’d think guns would be handy against a three-headed shark, but not so much. The funniest part of this movie is when one of the thugs cuts off one of the heads of the shark with a machete and three more heads grow in its place - pretty darn quickly too.

The body count by this garbage loving shark is pretty impressive - out of about 70 people only two survive. And despite the promising beginning, this movie has issues: it uses the same scene cuts over and over, things won’t be working one minute but are perfectly fine the next, boats will go full tilt but not leave a wake behind, and the size of the shark tends to fluctuate. Looks like three heads are not better than one. Or even two.

Still, if you’re in the mood to waste some time and maybe a laugh or two, you can catch it on Netflix.

Aug 22, 2016

Moonraker Monday

moonraker ~ topmost sail of a ship, above the skyscraper

For those of you who are living under a rock, or just aren’t into music, the weekend was a sad day, here in Canada. It marked the final concert of the iconic band The Tragically Hip.

Last December, lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and given one year to live. Rather than spend what little time he has left feeling sorry for himself, he and the band decided to do what they do best - play music. They embarked on one last tour, starting out on the west coast and ended up where they started, in Kingston.

Everybody has a Tragically Hip story to tell. My husband’s band played in the same venue as they did (different rooms) when they were first starting out. Gord shopped in the same grocery store as my daughter, when she was living in Kingston attending Queens University. The PlanetD best explains what the concert means HERE

The insane heat we’ve been experiencing has finally let up. In fact, as I sit here typing I don’t even have the air conditioner on. It’s a wonderful feeling - and so quiet too. You don’t realize the sounds you’re missing when the a/c is running, like the coyotes catching their dinner. ;-)

Have you ever been in a situation where someone’s generosity actually costs you instead? Sit back and I’ll tell you a story.

Once upon a time my in-laws got one of those spa tubs - a regular sized tub only with jets in it. The thing I always liked about it was the depth of it. I used to love taking a nice, long, leisurely bath, complete with bubbles and a book. Maybe even a glass of wine. However, our upstairs tub is so shallow it’s hardly worth your while, and the main floor bathroom tub has a serious problem with the enamel.

I was a little late with starting to take pictures, and this one is after hubby started to remove the tile from the walls around the tub.

The spa tub was still pretty new when my mother-in-law hurt her foot, making it impossible for her to step into a tub. They replaced the tub with one of those walk in types, and offered us the spa tub. It seemed like a good idea at the time, however ...

It was not so simple a matter as removing one tub and replacing it with another. The whole bathroom is in pretty bad shape. The tiles were falling off the walls into the tub and the plumbing needs work. In other words, the whole thing needed to be renovated.

This shows you how tiny the bathroom is to begin with:

If you’re wondering about the pink paper in the sink, it says: Please do not turn on taps, the pipes are not attached. Well, you can turn them on and get water, but there’s no pipe to drain it away so you’ll end up with wet feet.

The only problem with the tub was the colour. It’s an off white/almond shade, almost impossible to match for the toilet and sink. Hubby managed to find a toilet that colour, but no sink. So we’re getting rid of the cabinet and going with a pedestal sink in a complimentary colour instead.

The next problem was the tile around the tub and halfway up the walls in the rest of the room. It was white with a line of a medium shade of brown running through it. It goes perfectly with the white porcelain, not so much with an off white. Here’s a picture where you can better see what the current tile looks like.

So a goodly amount of time this weekend was spent looking at bathroom tile. Home Despot Depot had a very poor selection, and we started talking about painting over the existing tile. It’s a little pricy, but so is buying all new tile. But when we got home I checked online and we found the perfect tile - and it’s almost within our budget.

The hubby’s on holidays next week and at the top of his to-do list is the bathroom. He’s hired a plumber to replace some pipe and hook-up the new (to us) tub, but the rest he’s hoping to be able to do himself.

Let’s recap - we need new tile, new flooring, new sink, new toilet, -- all for the sake of a free tub.

Now we just need weather cool enough to make me want to use it. LOL

Aug 17, 2016

Mega Sharks!

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

Still keeping with the theme of shark month here, and it just wouldn’t be the same without a nod to the Mega Shark franchise. For some reason I thought there were more of them, but apparently there’s only four (maybe it just seems like more).

We start with: Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. In a nutshell ... okay, you can’t really do a nutshell summary, but I’ll try and be as quick as possible: A pod of whales off the coast of Alaska go a little crazy after the military drops experimental sonar transmitters into the water. They start ramming an iceberg, freeing a frozen megalodon (giant shark) and giant octopus which had been locked in battle when frozen. They go to their separate corners to thaw out because the octopus attacks a drilling platform off Japan, while the shark leaps thousands of feet into the air to bring down a commercial airline.

Emma, an oceanographer who was fired from her job after borrowing an experimental sub without permission, teams up with her old professor and a Japanese scientist to figure out what exactly is on the video she filmed in Alaska - turns out to be both the mega shark and the giant octopus. Meanwhile, the mega shark eats a naval destroyer, which the navy takes a dim view of, and the three are shanghaied by the authorities to stop the monsters.

There’s several failed attempts, with a lot of collateral damage (more boats, a couple of subs, the Golden Gate Bridge), before the two giants are finally brought together in an ice trench off the coast of Alaska where they fight to the death. If you’re a fan of shark movies, this one is worth watching if for no other reason than to see the mega shark jump 15,000 feet into the air to grab the plane.

Next we have Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus. Apparently the megalodon wasn’t quite as dead as we thought at the end of the first film, because here he is again chewing up more navy vessels. At the same time, in the Congo, we have a 150 foot long crocodile who’s tranquilized and then loaded onto a cargo ship headed for Florida.

Mega shark attacks the ship, inadvertently freeing the crocodile. Turns out old croc has been pretty busy laying eggs all over the place and there’s nothing mega shark likes better than crocodile eggs and it starts eating them. This kind of ticks off the crocodile who invades Miami and then Orlando.

The military uses more eggs to attract the creatures to the Panama canal where they duke it out, but at the same time we have a bunch of eggs that were laid along the American coastline starting to hatch. The hatchlings attack the Santa Monica pier while the grown ups take the fight towards Hawaii. The military uses as sonic emitter to lure the all of the creatures towards an undersea volcano which erupts, killing adult and baby creatures alike. The world is safe again, until the next movie.

You really want to see this one because I’ve barely touched on all the action and destruction, and come on, who doesn’t want to see a 150 foot crocodile stomping through Miami?

The third movie in this series is Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark. This one starts with the mega shark being released from an iceberg that’s being towed into the port at Alexandria, Egypt, to begin its reign of terror. Scientist Emma McNeill (again played by Deborah Gibson) is back to warn the military that the reason the mega shark is so aggressive is because it’s looking for a mate.

To combat this new threat, a prototype submarine, the mecha shark, was created and is piloted by the team of Jack and Rosie. While Jack stays in the control room, Rosie pilots the submarine, with the help of an AI computer system called Nero, and goes after the shark. She tries to shoot it with a torpedo but manages to sink the USS Virginia instead. Oops!

Man, the US navy really takes a beating from these mega sharks! The best scene is where the mega shark launches upwards towards a commercial airplane (just like in the first one) and then mecha shark launches upwards and they bounce off of each other.

As the mega shark swims towards Syndey, Australia (where it was spawned millions of years ago), the mecha shark is having computer problems as Nero goes on and offline, decides all humans are evil because there were soldiers pointing guns at it, and becomes amphibious and terrorizes the streets. Now we have two giant killer sharks on the loose!

Jack and Rosie manage to get inside the mecha shark and get Nero back online, and then escape again before the mega shark bites into the side of mecha shark, setting off a torpedo that destroys them both. Sushi anyone?

The final entry in the franchise is Mega Shark Vs. Kolossus. In this movie we get the double whammy - a mega shark and a giant robot (a leftover doomsday device from the Cold War) that’s accidently reactivated.

Of course you have to know there’s a lot of senseless destruction, like the mega shark using its tail to bat a submarine into the Christ the Redeemer statue that stands over Rio de Janeiro, navy ships taking a beating, and Kolossus pretty much stomping everything in its path. But there’s also some pretty interesting characters, like the megalomaniac who wants to rule the world, the doctor who wants to preserve the mega shark, and the mentally unstable admiral.

A plan is devised to have the Kolossus and mega shark duke it out. Kolossus is lured into the water by an American flag trailing out of a helicopter and while the two monsters are occupied, everyone tries to stop the giant robot (I guess he’s the more serious of the two threats). The megalomaniac gets control of Kolossus and threatens everyone else into making the world more eco-friendly. The mentally unstable admiral tries to blow up Kolossus with an attack satellite. Kolossus takes out the satellite by tossing the mega shark at it. Yes, all the way up into space. And yes, mega shark is like a Timex watch - it takes a licking and keeps on ticking, because it’s still alive enough for Kolossus to give it a hug just before it self-destructs.

While these movies may not have the increasing campiness of the Sharknado movies, they’re still good for a laugh ... if you have nothing better to do. ;-)

Aug 15, 2016

Muggy Monday

muggy ~ (of the weather) unpleasantly warm and humid.

Okay, I confess that today’s ‘M’ word is a bit contrived. I did a search for a synonym for “hot” and this was the best I could come up with. Because hot was definitely the word for last week.

It’s still oppressively hot, although we did get some rain on the weekend that has taken the edge off of the humidity, if only temporarily. And while it seemed like a lot of rain at the time, it wasn’t enough to lift us out of drought status.

By coincidence, last night I was watching a program on the History Channel about the seven new signs of the apocalypse (I guess the old ones weren’t quite good enough) and one of the things they mentioned was drought. I’m not saying our current drought is one of the signs of an impending apocalypse, but you never know ...

Of course they also mentioned fire - of which we’ve seen a lot of lately - famine, and earthquakes. And they made mention of several different figures who could be considered the anti-Christ. Although for some reason Donald Trump was not mentioned. ;-)

But you had to know it got me thinking about the actual seven signs, so I did a little research.

According to the Book of Revelations in the Bible, there are more like 14 signs of the apocalypse, not just seven:

1. Behold a white horse, and he who sat upon him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
2. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
3. And to a black horse: and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hands.
4. Behold a pale horse: and his name that sat upon him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
5. Under the altar the souls that them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried out with a loud voice.
6. A great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth.
7. There was a silence in the heavens about the space of half an hour ...
THEN The seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound:
1. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth; and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up.
2. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.
3. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, buring as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.
4. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars: so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it and the night likewise.
5. And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from the heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit ... and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth.
6. And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God ... and the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand ... the third of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone.
7. In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to servants the prophets.

I have to point out here, I’m not what one would call religious. And though I enjoy a good prophecy as much as the next person, I don’t put much stock in them. The Book of Revelations has been around since before it was part of the Bible, and it’s all too easy to put your own spin on it. If you look hard enough, you can find a prophecy to fit just about anything.

But it still makes for interesting reading, don’t you think?

Aug 11, 2016

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens

Welcome back to Shark Month here on my bad movie reviews. Yeah, I know I said "week" last week, but I meant month. There are just so many really cheesy shark movies out there, and I've seen them all! ;-)

You know how the Scary Movies included a bunch of references to other movies and basically spoofed them? That’s pretty much what Sharknado 4 did too. So if you’re not up on your pop culture you’re going to miss a lot of the, uh, humour in it.

So ... five years have passed since Sharknado 3. Super rich Aston Reynolds developed a superfast space ship and rescued Gil Shepard (played by David Hasselhoff) from the moon. He also took Nova’s sharknado zapper a few steps further and created something called Astro-X pods that zap sharknados before they’re even fully formed. Fin and his five-year-old son are living on a farm in Kansas (called April’s Acres) with his mother Raye (played by Cheryl Tiegs).

Fin and his niece (? cousin?) Gemini are on their way to Vegas to meet up with Matt, Fin’s son, who’s on leave from the military. This just happens to coincide with the grand opening of Reynolds’ latest venture, Sharkworld, a luxury hotel and casino that features a humongous shark-filled aquarium as one of its walls. Of course a storm develops, this one a sandstorm tornado, and the Astro-X pods are unable to stop it.

Matt and his fiancĂ© get married on the plane and then parachute out of it ... right into the sandnado. Trust me, there are almost as many ‘nados in this movie as there are cameos. And right on cue, here come the sharks, sucked right out of the aquarium wall in Sharkworld. Let the mayhem begin - people running, screaming, being eaten and maimed. The glass wall shatters and Vegas floods. Fortunately, Fin and Gemini are able to use a replica of a pirate ship to rescue Matt and his bride Gabby.

Thank god we have the opening credits at this point because I don’t think I can take any more one liners from Star Wars.

Here’s where it starts to get a bit complicated. Gil and Fin’s daughter Claudia are both working at Astro-X. Gil has been working closely with a scientist named Wilford (played by Gary Busey) on some kind of super-suit. It turns out that Wilford is also April’s father, which we discover when we find out - surprise! - April is still alive. After being hit by the piece of the shuttle at the end of Sharnado 3, April was in a coma for four years. Wilford convinced Fin to pull the plug and then spirited her body away, turning her into some kind of cyborg.

Fin, Gemini, Matt, and Gabby are on a train headed for Kansas when a dust sharknado appears from the desert and everyone has to fight for their lives. Again. The engineer is decapitated by a shark so Fin punches, wrestles, and fights his way through the sharks to the front of the train to save the day as the sharknado moves away to take out Hoover Dam. In an effort to save lives, Reynolds blows up part of the Grand Canyon to stop the ensuing flood. The sharnado picks up the debris from the explosion, turning it into a bouldernado (their word, not mine!).

Fin and his family end up at Reynolds’ headquarters in Arizona, where Reynolds makes a pitch for Fin to be an Astro-X spokesperson and go on TV to tell everyone everything’s going to be okay. When Fin refuses, Reynolds gets a little insulting. Leaving Reynolds behind, Fin’s group somehow ends up in a small town in Texas where they stop at a store run by Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife, who sell them chainsaws (best line so far: “It wouldn't be Texas without a chainsaw massacre.”)

The sharknado heads towards the Texas oilfields and becomes an oilnado. Their efforts to stop it cause it to catch fire and, you guessed it, it becomes a firenado. They need something bigger to fight this, and Finn uses a forklift that just happens to be fitted with a large chainsaw. Fin loads up the forklift with fire extinguishers and lets it get sucked up, then blows it up. But instead of stopping it, it sucks in an electrical plant and creates a lightningnado that’s heading straight for Kansas.

Meanwhile, two other sharknados form - one near San Francisco that becomes a hailnado, and one near Yellowstone that becomes a lavanado. April catches the news report and is surprised to hear the newscaster wonder where Fin is. Apparently daddy dearest lied to her - he told her that her family was dead. She immediately rushes off to find Fin.

Meanwhile, Gil and Claudia are fleeing one of the sharknados and are in danger of their car being sucked up into one. April saves their car, not knowing who’s inside, and there’s a tearful family reunion. Gil is also a little ticked at Wilford for keeping the truth from him.

Mayor of Chicago (wearing wicked witch stockings) warns Fin that he’s to blame for the sharknados and he’s not allowed in Chicago. Just over the state line into Kansas, Fin gets a car from an old friend of his - the car’s name is Christine, as in the book by the same name by Stephen King. We see general mayhem caused by the sharknados, many celebrity cameos, many one-liners from a plethora of movies. They reach April’s Acres just ahead of the sharknado.

Raye and little Gil made it to the storm cellar. A herd of cows gets sucked into the sharknado amid many Twister references and it becomes a cownado. Fin’s group not only has to battle the sharks, but the winds too. Matt’s wife gets her arm bitten off and then a shark falls on her. Little Gil wants his daddy and leaves the shelter - a lot of crazy holding on while the wind tries to suck them in. Everything is suddenly quiet and Raye leaves the shelter to look at the devastation around her. The storm is over - and that’s the last we see as we break for commercial.

Suddenly, we’re back in the middle of the twister - more screaming and yelling, more trying to hold on, lots of debris. It’s like they messed up the order of things or something. We never do find out what happened to Raye. The other survivors manage to hold on to various parts of the house as it’s sucked up into the wind. Predictably, it lands on the mayor of Chicago and all we see are her striped stocking clad legs sticking out from under it. Even more predictably is the line delivered by little Gil: “Dad, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.”

April, Claudia, and Gil team up with Reynolds who takes them on his private jet for a tearful reunion with the others. Oddly, there’s no mention of Matt’s dearly departed bride, nor does he seem all that upset about her being gone. By making some alterations to the Astro-X pods, Reynolds was able to shut down the lavanado and the hailnado, but can’t stop the lightningnado which hits a nuclear power plant to become, you guessed, a nukenado, filled with radioactive sharks.

He’s going to use a “quantum box” to reverse the flow of water from Niagara Falls so the water will get sucked up into the nukenado, turning it back into a regular sharknado so they can deal with it. Well, the box he had wasn’t powerful enough and he falls into the gorge. Fortunately, there’s a second box so it’s Fin and his family to the rescue.

Gil’s going to put on the super-suit to use the second, more powerful box, but before he can do so, he’s swallowed by a shark. Claudia is also eaten by a shark. Fin gets to the suit and puts it on; Matt puts little Gil into a barrel for safety. Finn activates the quantum box and the water from Niagara is sucked into the nukenado, making it a regular sharknado, but Fin is electrocuted in the process.

Matt gets eaten by a shark. Little Gil goes over the falls in the barrel. Gemini falls into the gorge. April, who can fly and shoot lasers out of her hands, saves little Gil. Fin is swallowed by a shark, which is swallowed by a series of progressively larger sharks until the last one is eaten by a whale that lands in the park at the top of the falls.

Little Gil pulls a chainsaw from a stone and cuts through the whale, then cuts various family members free - Claudia, Matt, big Gil, and finally Fin. Fin’s not breathing. April and Gil try CPR on him to no effect, so they make a defibulator from two small, electrically charged sharks and shock him back to life. Just as the family stands tall and proud that once again they’ve saved the day, the Eiffel Tower comes sailing down to crash into the gorge, the silhouette of Nova (who was mentioned earlier in the film as being on vacation in France) standing on it.

So now that you pretty much know everything that happens in the movie, why should you watch it? Because if you don’t, you’ll never get to see all the wonderful cameos, or see a Chippendales dancer repel a shark with his pelvis, or hear the lines from all the different movies they pay ... tribute to, or witness things like the pair of Baywatch babes who assist Hasselhoff with his suit (which includes some slow motion running). Okay, so you pretty much saw the Chippendales dancer scene in the clip at the beginning, but you didn’t see the sharks descend on a comic-con in Sault Lake City, nor did you see Fin being chased by the world’s largest ball of twine, a la Indiana Jones.

Watch it because in a series of progressively more stupid movies, this one was the best (or maybe that should be the worst). Let me not be the only one who’s tempted to throw popcorn at the screen as they yell out: “Are you kidding me?”

I can’t wait to see how they top this in Sharknado 5!

Aug 8, 2016

Moslings Monday

moslings ~ thin strips taken off when dressing skins

Hot enough for you out there? It’s so hot here I caught a couple of hobbits trying to throw a ring into my back yard. ;-)

Seriously though, it’s been insanely hot for the last few weeks, and really dry (in spite of the high humidity). There’s a fire ban in effect, which means no outdoor fires, and the water in Lake Ontario is down 11 inches from last year. If anyone in this area has a green lawn, you can be sure it’s been spray painted.

However, we have been adding water to our pond on a regular basis to keep this guy happy:

I had big plans for last week. I was going to get the transcripts done by Monday and then spend the rest of the week catching up on things I’ve let go this last month, including my writing. But if you know me at all, you should know that things seldom work out the way I would like them to.

I was pretty much on target with the transcripts, despite the break for the aquarium last Saturday, but then ... somehow we ended up hosting a lunch time barbeque for some of the hubby’s family on Monday. And everyone had so much fun they came back to have Chinese take-out for dinner.

So ... during my breaks from transcribing on Sunday I gave the house a thorough cleaning - at least the areas most likely to be seen by family. The dining room carpet was literally grey with cat hair, it had been that long since I’d taken the time to vacuum. I must say, it was pretty impressive, the amount I got accomplished in so short a time - both transcribing and cleaning. :-D

And while it would have been nice to just relax between lunch and dinner on Monday, I used the time to get all but the last two minutes of my last transcript done. And when I returned to my office after everyone was gone again to finish it, I discovered someone had shut off my work computer. I can only assume it was one of the visiting kids who thought they were turning it on (I had the monitor turned off but left the programs running in anticipation of returning to them later). *sigh*

However, all’s well that ends well. I didn’t lose too much of my work, although I was up rather late finishing up. We had a nice visit with family and the transcripts are finished. This batch at least, I’ll be getting another batch in September so you can expect the whining to start up again then.

As well as the whole house cleaning thing, one of the other things I let slide over the past few weeks was exercise. I stopped going to the gym, and then last week I didn’t even ride the bike - by doing so I had two extra hours in the morning for transcribing. One of my legs starting hurting ‘cause I’d been blowing off my exercise routine, now it’s hurting because I’ve started back up again. So this week I’ll be getting back into the saddle, so to speak.

And, because last week the daughter was on vacation and didn’t need me for babysitting, naturally I came down with a cold. It started out as a bit of a sore throat, accompanied by sniffles last weekend but I figured it was just because of where the fan in my office was positioned, pretty much blowing right in my face. But by Wednesday, it was a full blown cold.

So Wednesday I was miserable, and Thursday I was feeling all muzzy-headed from the cold medication and spent the day reading. Which means, I really didn’t get the things I’d planned on doing ... done.

But I read a good book, and I got to relax without feeling guilty. I might have wished for the weather to be a little cooler, but we can’t have everything and at least I was able to sit at the end of the house where the air conditioner was. :-D

Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get a start on that whole getting organized thing.

Aug 3, 2016

Sharknado 1 to 3

Some movies are so bad they’re good, and some movies are just ... bad. My husband and I enjoy watching them both and I thought it would be fun to share the best of the worst. So without further ado, here’s my bad movie review of the week. I leave it up to you to decide whether the movie is bad, or just the review. ;-)

WARNING! Rather long post happening here!

Welcome to Shark Week here on my bad movies reviews. Seriously, have you seen the number of terrible, cheesey, bad shark movies out there? Man, are you in for a treat!

We’re going to start with the Sharknado phenomenon. And the first one truly was a phenomenon. Television networks synchronized their settings so the first Sharknado movie aired simultaneously around the globe. It was awesome!

So here’s the story: A freak tornado filled with sharks hits Los Angeles and Fin (played by Ian Ziering) can only stand by - not exactly helpless, he has to fight off a bunch of these sharks - and watch as his beach-side bar is destroyed. When Los Angeles begins to flood, with sharks as well as water, he and his friends make their way to his ex-wife’s (April) house to save her and their daughter Claudia. There’s a lot of sharks, a lot of people getting eaten or otherwise losing limbs to said sharks. Fin’s son Matt and Nova, who worked in Fin’s bar, try tossing bombs from a helicopter into the sharknado, and Nova falls out of the helicopter right down a shark’s throat. In the end Fin prevails by bombing the sharknado and the sharks begin to plummet to the ground. At the very end, one open-mouthed shark plummets towards the group of survivors and Fin jumps into its path with a chainsaw, only to cut his way out again with an unconscious Nova in his arms.

Think it sounds pretty bad? Just wait.

Sharknado 2: The Second One, had celebrities clamouring to be part of it. Most of them got eaten by sharks. Despite the fact that this one was even sillier than the first, it was the highest premiering film on the Syfy Channel. This one starts with Fin and his no longer estranged wife April on a plane headed for New York to promote her book about surviving a sharknado. The plane flies through a storm and is bombarded by sharks, losing its engines, the two pilots, and many of the passengers in the process. Fin manages to land the plane, although April’s hand is bitten off by a shark. And still, no one takes Fin’s warning seriously about the impending disaster.

Lots of sharks, lots of people getting eaten, lots of running and screaming. Throwing bombs into the sharknados (there were three of them) from the top of the Empire State Building wasn’t working because it was too cold. The plan is to detonate a tank of Freon gas on the top of the building, connecting it to a lightning rod, and freezing the storm. Fin makes an impassioned speech to the crowd below to rally them into fighting the falling sharks with whatever they can. You know, like the chainsaw April is now sporting from her stump.

Fin’s old friend Skye ends up sacrificing herself to make the connection from the lightning rod to the Freon, the tank explodes, Fin is thrown into the sharknado and grabs onto a great white shark using chains to steer it as he rides it down onto the building’s antennae. April is waiting for him on the roof and they find her severed arm in one of the sharks. Fin takes the wedding ring from her defunct hand and proposes marriage. She accepts. All together now, awwww.

And yet, as silly as this movie was, it gets even sillier!

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! begins with a kind of James Bondesque sequence with Fin racing through traffic and jumping over obstacles to get to the White House to receive a medal from the president. Bam! They’re slammed by a sharknado and Fin and the president work side by side to fight them off. Meanwhile, a very pregnant April and her mother (played by Bo Derek) are at the Universal theme park in Orlando with Claudia, who goes off on her own with some friends.

There are sharknados springing up all over the place and as Fin makes his way back to his family, he meets up with his old friend Nova, who’s become some sort of sharknado tracker aficionado. In one of the cheesiest scenes to date, her partner sacrifices himself - losing first a leg, then the opposite arm, then the other leg, then the other arm - finally sending a pulse into the current sharknado using his nose to hit the button. Yeah.

Reunited with his family again, they realize that all these storms could combine, creating a massive sharkicane, taking out the entire east coast. Fin reluctantly calls in a favour from his father Gil (David Hasselhoff), a former NASA colonel. The idea is to destroy the sharknados from space using a laser weapon. The plan works, but David Hasselhoff is left floating in space, and as the shuttle falls back to earth it’s attacked by sharks - Fin is swallowed by one, April by another (um, she somehow ended up on the shuttle too and they just happened to have a maternity space suit for her).

Fin’s shark hits the beach and he uses his laser chain-saw to cut his way out. Then he hears the faint sound of a chainsaw from another shark and a hole opens up in its side, and April hands him his newborn son. Not only does one have to wonder how she gave birth inside a shark, one also has to wonder how her clothes shrank to fit her pre-baby looking figure again (never mind the whole giving birth through her clothing thing, and where did her space suit go?). We have a final glimpse of David Hasselhoff standing on the moon in his space suit, saluting. And as Fin salutes back (almost as though he could see him), April bends down to pick up something from the beach and a piece of the shuttle comes hurtling down towards her. Seriously, that’s where it ends.

Each movie gets progressively, um, sillier. The sharknados get bigger, and more celebrities beg for cameos! The list of cameos for number three is even longer than number two. You see Will Wheaton (with his real life wife apparently) get eaten on the plane. Judd Hirsch (remember him in Taxi?) plays a taxi driver in New York. Robert Hays (from the Airplane movies) plays a pilot. A myriad of newspeople/talk show hosts play themselves - Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Natalie Moralies, Elvis Duran, and Matt Lauer, to name but a few.

One of the best features is the way Ian Ziering (Fin) and Tara Reid (Fin’s wife), take their roles so seriously. That shows amazing self-control to deliver some of those lines so dead pan. The other great thing about these movies is that they waste no time getting right down to the action. None of this coy glimpses of the monster for this franchise, these sharks are there, bam! Right in your face.

Come back next week when I review Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens. I can’t wait to see how they get David Hasselhoff down from the moon!

Aug 1, 2016

Mesocracy Monday

mesocracy ~ government by the middle classes

If you live in Canada, chances are you have the day off. Happy Civic Holiday!

If you live anywhere else, so sad, too bad. Apparently it’s only a Canadian thing.

Last week is pretty much a blur. Transcribing and more transcribing with the occasional break for babysitting. The deadline for the transcriptions was self-imposed, but to be perfectly honest I should have set myself one a long time ago. I work better with a deadline, a fact that’s easy to forget when you’re self employed.

Babysitting was actually a nice break. Perhaps not a relaxing break, but they say a change is as good as a rest. And I know the secret to dealing with small children -- keep them busy. I had an aunt who also knew this secret. She had a house full of antiques and never baby-proofed it. That’s because she always had a new craft for us to try out at the kitchen table. Crafts, picnics, and car rides - the way to any child’s heart.

Being only 18 months old, the grandbaby is kind of limited to the crafts she can do, although she’s eager to try. Her mother got us a piece of bristol board, some stickers, and some washable markers. Below is our first attempt. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of our second attempt where she had more fun drawing on herself with the markers instead of the bristol board.

Lest you think I was all work and no play last week, we did take a break on Saturday to go to the Ripley Aquarium in Toronto. And by we I mean everyone - hubby, daughter, daughter’s hubby, and grandbaby. We drove as close as we dared to the big city, and then took the GO train the rest of the way.

Although grandbaby lives near the train tracks, she’s never been on a train before, so that was pretty exciting for her. AND we didn’t realize that Carabana was also going on, so there were several costumed young ladies on the train as well. Such elaborate costumes that covered so very little. The grandbaby took one look at all the feathers and started going “Ack, ack!”, which is her sound for all birds. The ladies thought she was adorable.

We met up with more family and had a great time at the aquarium. It was so much bigger than I thought it would be and for a good part of it you followed a path that took you under the tanks of fish so you had sharks and rays and a myriad of other fish swimming over you. So cool! Here’s a picture of the grandbaby and her daddy crawling through one of the kids tunnels.

And now, a new week has begun. The transcription project is all but done and I have a babysitting free week to help things get back to normal.

Whatever normal is.