Before Halloween gets too far gone and these are no longer topical, i had to share some links to the entries in Engadget‘s halloween costume contest. Some are better than others, some are really tech-nerdy, but all are pretty funny. The first page showcases the declared winners, who received various gadgety, button-wielding prizes for their ingenuity. A second page is filled entirely with ipod-related costumes (i know ipods are the new Levis and all, but wow… people really love their ipods). Some of the ipod getups were even functional to some degree or another (!). And finally, a best of the rest list with some honorable mentions. I think me (and pretty much everyone i know) would be safe recycling any of these ideas next year, as they’re creative enough to stand out in a crowd even if they’re no longer cutting edge tech. I also noticed a strange coincidence, that a disproportionate number of the apparently “cooler” costumes involve some manner of boxiness or general hugeness. Apparently we’re all impressed with oversized costumes. Some sort of evolutionary holdover, i imagine; the specimen who is able to puff up to the largest size and strut around is the most appealing potential mate.

In the spirit of the “trick”, i also have an annoying optical illusion for you courtesy of Kevin. Read the directions and then stare away. It really is freaky how our brains work.

I was going to try and go to a movie tonight, but my empty wallet and general sense of thriftiness quickly talked me out of that. It takes a lot for me to spend actual money in a theater, as i think they’re such a ripoff, and i barely get my money’s worth out of the one-movie-at-a-time Netflix membership that i share with Danielle cause i’m really not an avid movie watcher. I think we’ve already discussed that i don’t even bother with television; even if i had the money i don’t think i’d waste it on cable, and i finally disconnected the rabbit ears and disposed of my remaining three-and-a-half channels because i never watched them anyway and i was tired of the antennas taking a clattering fall off the television every 5 seconds. But i was pretty jacked about The Tangerine Dream, this year’s ski flick from TGR, shot in sweet 16MM. Their stuff is always great, and i have a few others on DVD. Credit goes to Gabe for turning me onto them. So since they’re touring the movie and the tour hits Seattle (btw, can i just wax poetic for a moment about how great it is to finally live in a place that actually shows up on tour maps?) i figured it would be sweet to head down to the Showbox tonight and check it out. Ten seconds with the evil TicketWest website (not to be confused with the evil TicketMaster – different service, same evil plot to suck the fun out of concerts and events) convinced me otherwise. Tickets were $13. A bit steep, but there’s only one show, the Showbox is probably more exciting than an average theater and i know TGR is a small group that spends a lot making the film. But then you add a $3 delivery charge – even though they were will call tickets, which are not delivered and a $7.50 “convenience charge” – more commonly known as “the TicketBastard fee” – and suddenly it’s $36.50 for two people to see a movie. Oh, plus tax. So i scrapped that idea pretty quickly, and hit up TGR’s site and Amazon for the DVD copy. Both listed it at $28, which is reasonable considering the production scale and quality i mentioned above, but then it wouldn’t be here for this weekend, and since the snow is falling in the mountains and several of the local resorts are opening this weekend, i had my heart set on a new ski flick to get the season started with, and 7 to 10 business days of waiting just wasn’t going to scratch that itch.

Enter Fiorini Sports. Actually, first, enter Ally Video, the distributor who pushes TGR’s films out to the local retailers. I hit up Chris at Ally (who turned out to be very cool, btw) to recommend a local merchant who stocked his stuff, specifically my Tangerine Dream disc. Not only did he shoot me Fiorini’s deets (which i already knew, cause i love that store, but very thorough of him) but he called them and verified they had a copy in stock, and told them to expect me. I know! So now, enter Fiorini Sports, a great winter sports vendor who has thankfully come out of last year’s dismal season alive and kicking, and i seriously wish i had money to buy new equipment not because particularly i need it, but because i want to patronize Fiorini as much as possible. If you live on the eastside, you can’t beat Sturtevant’s in Bellevue, but if you’re on the westside of the lake you needn’t look farther than Fiorini in U Village. They’ve always been great to me, and today when i rolled over there at lunch in search of my TGR disc was no exception. There’s something about ski shops that is inherently welcoming and i’ve encountered very few that weren’t staffed by friendly fellow enthusiasts, but both of these places have really gone over the top for me, and i highly recommend them. Also, i highly recommend checking out TGR’s “ski porn” (Gabe’s and my phrase, not theirs) movies; they’re a great way to get yourself pumped up in the preseason, motivate yourself for that summer ski-prep workout program (something i really should try one of these days) or get all jacked the night before a big powder day. If i could watch them in the truck on the way up to the hill i totally would, but barring that (highly dangerous) idea i usually seek out a lot of the tunes featured therein for my ipod’s “ski porn” playlist for mid-schuss enjoyment. And that, all you bums and bunnies, is the first time i’ve ever used my internet nickname in it’s proper english form… which i think means now i have to spin straw into gold or something.