Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My media setup in my bedroom/office/living room is relatively complete. I have a nice sound system, a television with cable, and when I want to watch DVDs, I can watch them on my TiBook.

However, I have an extensive library of old VHS tapes and the only VHS player was downstairs in the living room. I chatted with my roommate and asked if he ever used it. He said the only time it’s been used is to watch the tapes I check out from the library, and he isn’t all that interested in most of them (we have different tastes). I asked would he mind if I grabbed it, and he not only didn’t mind, he set it up for me. (I have a great roommate.)

The last couple of nights I’ve been watching some of my old, old friends. I do prefer DVD movies, but I bought these old movies a long time ago and can’t afford to replace them, or they haven’t come out on DVD (and most likely won’t). Among them are some classic old black & white sci-fi films that would be put to shame by today’s modern special effects, but I love them anyway.

Today’s movies just aren’t the same as the oldies. Somehow, they don’t allow for the watcher’s imagination to fill in the the blanks, or to stretch far enough to ignore that the bug is mechanical. Though many are excellent, they don’t have something that the old sci-fi movies had. I’m not sure what it is, but I do know that every time I watch one of these old movies, I feel as if I were a kid again in the movie theater in town, with my big rootbeer and popcorn; or at home Saturday night when Mom would let us stay up, or on a rainy afternoon–about to be scared, but that good kind of scared. It was a nice break from duck and cover.

I watched the original Thing (or, more properly, “The Thing from Another World”), and I still think this was an extremely well done movie. It had one of the most natural dialogues I’ve ever seen in a movie, with characters talking over each other at times, something that does happen in real life when people are stressed. (Forget the guy having hysterics before getting a glass of water splashed in his face.)

I also liked the female lead, and the humor, and James Arness as a big, malevolent brocolli.

Another favorite is Behemoth, the Sea Monster, which I’ll watch tonight. It’s not as highly rated, or as well acted, but I’ve always liked the Big Creature from the Deep flicks.

Of course, the best and baddest of the old creature flicks was Them!. This was my favorite old sci-fi flick, and one of the first I bought. Unfortunately, it was also in the storage unit whose contents I sold, in bulk, so I no longer have the film. However, I’ve watched it so many times, I don’t know if I do need it. I remember every scene.

For instance, one of my favorite scenes is of the young girl in the hospital in a state of shock, and the old scientist passing a beaker of formic acid under her nose. She blinks her eyes, as if coming out of a deep sleep, and then she scrunches all inwards, screaming at the top of her lungs:

Arggghhhh! Them! Them!

This scene does an excellent job of setting the suspense for the movie (that and the deputy watching the old cafe at night); and the kid did a great job with the phrase. It’s such a useful phrase, too–one that never goes out of style.

Yesterday was tax day in the States and I spent the day surrounded by tax papers.

Arggghhhh! Them! Them!

Yesterday was also bill day.

Arggghhhh! Them! Them!

More social software tools have been released this week.

Arggghhhh! Them! Them!

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