Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Great Ending

Remember the ending to The Incredibles? How they took out that awesome giant robot with it's own rocket hand?

I just discovered something.

It's a straight ripoff from this sad movie. How do I know that? Robot Jox just showed up at my house from Netflix, both spelled with a stylish "x". I really, really have to stop watching movies that I just know are going to be crappy. But apparently I'm not the only one watching...I'm looking at you Brad Bird. He must have a thing for giant robots. Can't say that I blame him.

If you're interested to see for yourself, jump past the remarkably phalic chainsaw (2:25) to the part where our protagonist pulls the robot rocket hand stunt (3:55). Exact same ending.

I'm realizing more and more as I watch more and more movies, read more and more books, and take more and more classes, that real originality is:

A) Very rare
B) Almost impossible
C) Probably over-rated
D) Simply synthesis
E) All of the above


In honor of the very taxing Aesthetics of Crime in French and German Film class I am taking, I present to you a trailer for a movie that will never be made.

High Step

This is a door in the warehouse at work. A door...ten feet up.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

UPDATE: I found the other side...

Snazzy Produce

Jazz Apples. I lived in the heart of Washington apple country for a
considerable time, talking to many an orchardist. "Jazz Apple" is a
variet I have never heard of. I think the only people who have heard of
them are the stockers and shoppers at this particular chain of grocery
-Sent from Austin's phone.


Pictures of us, our fans, our weapons of bowling.

I think this is probably the last season I'l do bowling league. I joined
to have fun. I've done that and managed to not get any better. I also
think the fun has peaked out. It doesn't help that we won first place
the first league we did, and now we're in dead last. That is probably
tied to me/us having less fun, cause or effect or just tied. I need
something new.

Farewell, bowling league. It has been a good time.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Strange Feeling

I'm sitting here blogging on my fancy phone while a man twice my age is
manually washing my relatively nice car that my dad paid for. In any
previous age this would probably indicate I was some kind of royalty or
nobility. Its a strange arrangement, the whole thing, and I feel odd
about it. What has brought him to his position and me to mine?
Its some deal at Jiffy Lube. I got an oil change, and they said this
guy would wash my car. Okay.
As I pulled away, he said, "Tell your friends." I'm not sure exactly
what I should tell them.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, February 25, 2008


3 Items

The Academy Awards were predictable and ultimately boring.

The award for "Accident Most Likely to Look like Not an Accident" goes here.

An interesting view on Changing Faith in America.

That is all. More and more interesting material to come soon, you have my word.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is my Major

Really, you should visit the Brimhall Building around noon. It looks a lot like this.
Also, this toon had me reeeally laughing for a long time.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You All Must Do This Thing. Now.

It will only take a second. Really couldn't take more than a minute.

I want you to go to this website and vote for my friend of a friend Alex. I would call him a friend directly, but we've only hung out a couple times, and he lives on the other side of the country.

Here is the story. His mom tricked him into entering a modeling competition. TRICKED HIM! She said there was an emergency and they had to go right away, something like that. However it went down, she didn't tell them where they were driving to, and then when they got to the mall, HA! The joke's on him. He never would have entered voluntarily.

Please, be a part of this tremendous prank. I want you to, and I have a sinking suspicion that you want to too. I'd love to hear any comments when you've voted.

Also, I would STRONGLY encourage you to blog about this on your own blogs. Be a part of the movement that is Alexander Kouts, Model in the Making.

For validation of my claims, visit David's or Amy's blog.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bless You

A filing cabinet at the library. Somebody beat me to the puch line, but
we each got there independent of the other.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Old Spice

I'm not really a fan of Will Ferrell, but my brother-in-law's brother Jason wrote these commercials, and they are great. Watch them, vote, enjoy.

P.S. If you vote, three more videos will come up. They're pretty good.

From Ride to Living Room

I was considering going to Disneyland this weekend. I really wanted to go, a friend was planning on the trip, it would have been a blast. But lack of funds, time, and other factors nixed the trip.

But it got me thinking. By raise of hands, who remembers the Captain EO 3-D movie they used to play, with Michael Jackson as the fastest dancin' space captain this side of the galaxy? I do. I remember how awesome it was. And they weren't slouchers, those guys. Fracis Ford Coppola directed it, George Lucas produced, Anjelica Houston as the Supreme Leader, and of course Michael Freakin' Jackson as the Captain himself. The short became influential on later science fiction, notably The Borg from Star Trek.

I say that like it's some epic. In all honestly, it was a short film done by Disney once years ago. But I loved it.

Anyway, I thought, "Why isn't this available on DVD? Sure, Michael Jackson is a freakshow, but come on, people still listen to Gary Glitter." So I emailed Disney.

Dear Disney,
I have fond memories of Disneyland as a child. One of my favorite attractions was the Captain EO film. I have become a great fan of popular cinema. I know there are many like myself who would love to see Captain EO released on DVD or HD disc. I would eagerly add it to my personal video library. Thank you for your consideration.
Austin Craig

This is the response I got:

Thank you for your email regarding CAPTAIN EO. We value your interest in Walt Disney Home Entertainment. At this time, we do not have a DVD release date for CAPTAIN EO. We will forward your request for release to our Marketing Department for consideration.Please visit our website at http://www.disneydvd.com/ for a list of titles that are currently available and to check for new DVD announcements from Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reply to this email. You may also contact us at 800 723-4763
(Canada: 888 877-2843), Monday 9:30-7:30 and Tuesday through Friday 9:30-6:30 CST.
Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment Consumer Relations

Well, that didn't get me much of anywhere, but it's better than nothing. So I did it again.

Okay, raise of hands again, who remembers Back to the Future: the Ride? Universal just got rid of that one just last year (except in Japan). Also a great ride, one of my fondest from the theme park. Here is what I told them.

Dear Universal,
I was saddened to hear about the close of the Back to the Future Ride at the United States Universal Studios theme park locations. I know there are many like myself who would like to see it released on DVD or HD disc. I'm sure many collectors would eagerly add it to their home video libraries. Thank you.
Austin Craig

This is what they said.

Dear Mr. Craig
Thank you for writing to express your concerns regarding the closing of Back to the Future the Ride(r). Universal Orlando(r) appreciates the enormous following of Back to the Future the Ride(r) fans, as well as the historical significance of this attraction, and we have not made the decision to close it lightly. We understand how much our guests will miss this attraction. We feel it is important to take a bold approach to providing our guests with the kind of state-of-the-art and innovative entertainment experience they expect from Universal Orlando. Sometimes, that approach means change. In the past, we have replaced The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera with Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast(tm); Kongfrontation with Revenge of the Mummy the RideSM; and the Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show with Fear Factor Live. In each case, a popular attraction gave way to a new and equally popular experience. While our newest attraction is still in development, we anticipate that it will quickly become a new guest favorite.
Once again, thank you for sharing your remarks with us. Your comments are important to the success of our resort. We hope you will visit soon, giving us the opportunity to provide the greatest entertainment experience.
Best regards,


Coordinator, Guest Services Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations(tm)Universal Orlando(r) Resort

Again, not much action. But it was fun, and I think I will keep doing this kind of thing. Maybe it'll be a regular feature on here.


My favorite film reviewer is David Bordwell. You won't find his reviews in the paper, though. He isn't a populist reviewer so much as an analyst. He is a textbook author, taught at the University of Wisconsin, and knows his stuff.

He noted one of my favorite series of television ads, and an increasingly popular storytelling style he calls network narratives, where a host of characters are loosely connected through theme rather than immediate interaction. You might recognize the style from movies like Crash, Love Actually, Magnolia, and a host of others.

If you have any interest in learning about movies (or rather, understanding movies) I'd recommend reading his blog regularly. Or better yet, read his books.

Engadget Roundup

I read the tech blog Engadget. A whole lot. Aside from finding the material interesting, it's also pretty pertinent at times. If any of this catches your interest, there is a widget on the side of this blog where you can see the latest headlines. A sampling for you, in no particular order:

-That analog TV you've been watching for the past few decades? Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but aside from upgrading for the sake of a better picture, channel options, and size, it looks like you'll have to trade it for a digital TV of necessity. Analog cellular networks, R.I.P.: 1983 - 2008

-Ray Kurtzweil, who has been right about a number of other issues, thinks that machines will match human intelligence by 2029. Awesome. Kurzweil predicts that machines will match man by 2029 -- bring it on

-The Kota Triceratops and the Elmo TMX prove something I said a while back.

-DSLR Movie Shooting reminds me of a couple videos Ross Ching did. I mentioned him a little while ago.

-iPhone nothin'! Okay, they're pretty cool, but they're not the end-all, there are many phones with better specs, if not as sleek or nifty of features. I think I'd go for something like the Nokia N96. And if it ran the Android OS from Google? Even better.

-I've been betting on Blu ray for almost a year now over HD DVD. It now looks like the battle is almost over. Warner went Blu exclusively, followed by some other big players right after, including Netflicks. This would all be great if our stupid Samsung Blu-ray player worked like it should.

-A tragic end to a wonderful thing, Polaroid will not longer make...Polaroids. If you've been reading this blog at all, you'll know how much I am saddened by this news.

-It looks like there won't ever be a Sidekick running Android OS. Microsoft dropped a bundle to pick up the mobile developer. Really smart move on Microsoft's part, acquiring innovative smaller companies to infuse the corporate giant with some new blood, but sad for consumers. Especially since Danger founder Andy Rubin is now working with Google to develop the Android OS. It would have been like reuniting long lost family members if there had been a Sidekick with Android.

-This is just cool. Read about the most powerful laser...ever.

-When I pick up a blue-tooth adapter, I'd want to get something like this.

Gizmodo is pretty good too.

Holiday Blogging

I've got a day off school, and what do I want to do? Blog. What does that say about me? Honestly?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I always love to hear an objective opinion of myself. That means, in
concrete terms, gossip about ME. So I couldn't help but laugh the other
day when I heard something a friend had said in my absense.

Like most people, I spend my time between a few different social
circles. One group is a bit more free spirited than the others. One of
them noticed on my facebook profile that I'm listed as "Very

"Wait, this says Austin is really conservative. Is...is that a joke? Is
he being sarcastic?"

I guess a debate ensued as to my political orientation, with no clear
answer until my input was sought.

Now I won't go into the accuracy of that label, "Very Conservative". I
put that on my facebook profile over three years ago, right after I got
home from my mission, and haven't thought about it since. Probably in
the world at large, I am very conservative. But at BYU, well, that's a
whole different world really.

What was so funny was that my political affiliation was a point of any
interest. That means it

A) Wasn't clear
B) Mattered to some degree
And, because they thought it might be sarcastic
C) it was assumed that I was something else, i.e. Liberal

Just something to think about. We all make assumptions about people,
sometimes without even realizing it. I certainly do, so you'll have to
remind me next time I do that.

I don't even consider myself party affiliated at heart. If my views
happen to coincide more with one group than another, so be it, their
gain. I'll stand my ground regardless of who claims that territory.

Thanks can be given to D. Smith for this line of thought, but I feel I
am not so much Republican or Democrat as somebody looking for long term,
feasable answers for the Big Problems. That means managing the here and
now without necessarily taking the quickest, easiest, or most popular
answer. But who ever said the popular answer was the right one?

Listen. I'm talking on and pretentiously on like any of this has any
true depth or meaning. Really, I'm bored bowling by myself at the alley
and wanted something to do between frames. Next time I'm alone at the
alley, I should give you a call.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, February 11, 2008


UPDATE: If anybody knows anything about this picture (origins, photographer, where it was taken, with what camera) I'd be VERY interested to know. Please leave a comment.

I haven't posted on here in a while. I've been busy.

That is a phrase we hear and use a lot.

But it's true.

I'm sinking in all this responsibility, and I don't even have that much. Drowning in the pool of things I'm supposed to do, things a good person does.

I ran into an old friend the other day. I asked him how he had been, he said busy. I asked for details. He is taking...15 credits, I think? Plus two jobs totalling to 27 hours of work a week. And he just got married. Oh, and he volunteers in his spare time. His Spare Time. He said he gets about four hours of sleep a night.

There is no way I could ever do that. It would be as impossible as alchemy. I may just as soon fly to and from campus by flapping my arms as I would maintain such a schedule. I'm sure, beyond doubt, that if I tried to do that for any longer than a week, I would contract some serious illness and probably collapse on campus.

I have 14 credits, a job, a calling, and I'm supposed to spend time dating, home teaching, and serving. For my major, I'm supposed to stay abreast of local, national, and world news. I'd like to find time to read for pleasure, write something (like a blog), exercise. I should find time to spend with my family and stay in touch with old friends. I won't list the menial tasks that are simply inherent to living. Cleaning, organizing, eating, shopping. I'd like to travel. There are a thousand ventures I'd like to embark on. There is just too much. There is too much.

We'll see if I make it through the semester.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Redbox has turned out to be a great venture, despite my initial
pessimism. It's convenient, cheap for the customer, and certainly
profitable for the businessmen behind it. You can even use it for free,
if you look up the free rental codes online before you go. So go.

However, upon my most recent visit, they appeared to be undergoing
maintanance. There were windows open, just as you would see on your own
computer if a technician were fixing it. They were obviously flying
through, remotely taking care of some problem. And the touchscreen
controls were still active.

How could I resist?

We stood there for a minute or two, confounding their efforts. Every
time they would try to click on something, we would touch and pull the
curser to the side. Every time they opened a window, we'd close it. It
was fun. Stupid, juvenile fun.

I won't do it again. I won't have occasion to do it again. But it was
-Sent from Austin's phone.


It's like watching the funeral of somebody who died young.
-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Scotch Mist - A Video with Radiohead In It

This one is for you, Optimistic.

NOTE: I posted this before watching the whole thing. Now that I have, I must warn those of sensible ears, there is some vulgarity. My apologies.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

'Sweding' Eats Itself

I've already talked a bit about Be Kind Rewind, and I talked about how brilliant Michel Gondry is, so maybe this is retreading old territory. But I think I have reason to reiterate. Watch the original trailer, then watch this...ahem...remake.

In case you weren't sure, that is the film's director, Michel Gondry. The Genius.

Here are a couple videos I should have included the first go around.
The White Stripes again.

A a little fun with a piano, paint, and Björk.

Björk is a bit of a loon, but the video is very enjoyable. It's a clip from The Work of Directory Michel Gondry, a DVD with many of his short films and music videos. If you have something like Netflicks or happen to see it at Blockbuster, I would highly recommend checking this one out.