It’s not for everyone but Avatar might just be our favorite movie of all time.  It has a lot going for it and Rachel and I both agree: the estimated 500 million dollar budget was worth every penny.

After 2 hours and 40 minutes, I left the theater in panic mode because it was over and there isn’t yet a sequel.  In the 10 years it took him to make it, James Cameron created a world I don’t want to just visit every 5 years when they release a sequel, I want to live there, now.

To me, that’s a sign of a great movie.  Every movie I’ve ever truly loved has left me with some desire for a part of it to be real.  Everything about Avatar is completely different from the norm and that’s exactly the point.  It’s so unique and different that I wish I could experience it myself.  They even create a rational for how things work rooted in (a tiny bit of) science.  The characters quickly develop into emotional connections, to each other and the audience.  On top of that the effects, the animation, the scenery, everything about the movie was stellar.

We didn’t watch it in 3D, but I’m seeing the movie again with coworkers this Tuesday at the IMAX in 3D so we’ll see how that changes things.  From the first viewing I can only assume it makes it even better.  There wasn’t a ton of gimmicky things flying towards the screen, just a lot of really stunning scenery that would be all the more impressive in 3D.

Filled with even more anticipation than I was before. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer:

Please turn on javascript. Movies require javascript to play.

Although written sunday, this post isn’t going up until I’m sitting in the theater on Tuesday.  Wouldn’t want to spoil it for my coworkers by giving them expectations before they see it.


Gravatar LogoI generally like the idea of consolidation. I’m tired of all the logins I have all across the web. I try to use a very small list of identical names and e-mail addresses but with the shear number of sites out there and the different security requirements it’s very difficult to keep them all up to date. I’m a fan of openID although I don’t think they quite get it yet. I love the concept I’m just not sure about the execution. Using a website address as your one unique login is awkward.

In general there’s just too much clutter on the web. Too many things that accomplish the same task. Too much information being generated by every individual. I wrote before about consolidating the feeds I generate into 3 main categories.

Today I consolidated my avatars. An avatar is what people see of you. It’s often the first image they’ll get of you, or perhaps even their first impression. It’s a drag to update these avatars on every site you use. I myself hardly used to use them simply because I don’t like searching for a photo to use and trimming it down to size etc.

Gravatar makes it very easy. Essentially you attach an image with an e-mail address and thats it. Any website which is Gravatar-enabled will display your Gravatar wherever it detects your E-mail address. Your Gravatars also have ratings so that certain sites can say they only want to allow ‘G’ or ‘PG’ Gravatars for example. The only Gravatar I have is this:

I have now enabled Gravatars on RandyAldrich.net and RandyandRachel.com. I’ll probably do so on any website I administer in the future as I think its a great way to build community.

If you hate seeing the Gravatar logo, Create yours today!

If you’d like to enable Gravatars on your wordpress blog simply download and install this plugin and then add the following line of code in comments.php wherever you’d like them displayed:

<?php if (function_exists(‘gravatar’)) { ?><img src=”<?php gravatar(“X”, 80, “”); ?>” class=”gravatar” alt=”Gravatar Icon” /><?php } ?>

As a sidenote… I may create an updated version of the plugin myself (or send the needed changes to the original author) which inserts the above for you when I get a chance.