Movies Watched in 2010

Depending on what source you look at, between 300 and 1300 movies were released this year. I try to get out (or stay in) and see a movie now and then. I don’t consider myself a movie buff, but I like to watch one or two movies each week. Below is a list of the movies I saw that came out in 2010. Just for the heck of it I rated them and jotted down a few thoughts.

Ghost Writer. 7/10. Clever and interesting. Mysteries seems to be more scarce these days.

Shutter Island. 8/10. I really enjoyed this movie. In some ways it’s been “done before” but this is a stand out.

How to Train Your Dragon. 7/10. Dreamworks movies tend to lack the magic of their Disney counterparts. While, not magical HTTYD was a nice distraction.

Clash of the Titans. 7/10. This movie got a lot of flack for bad 3D. I saw it 2D and liked it. It’s a little mindless, but I like Sam Worthington.

Date Night. 6/10. Enjoyable with a few very funny parts. A little exaggerated for my tastes.

Kick Ass. 6/10. This movie had a lot of promise. A little too much profanity for me and some of the violence was brutal. True to the comic, but it could have been a better movie.

Iron Man 2. 7/10. Not as good as the first (9/10). Good effects, good pace, but a little misdirected at times.

Prince of Persia. 8/10. This got bashed by critics, but I thought it was a blast.

The Karate Kid. 6/10. Solid as far as remakes go, but Will Smith’s son was just a touch too young (rap that). Jackie Chan was very good.

Toy Story 3: 8/10. Another great Pixar film. It made me cry (I feel strongly about my toys).

Knight and Day: 7/10. A fun action thriller. It’s got some nice twists and I think Tom Cruise did a great job.

Eclipse: 6/10. This one kind of dragged on. Not enough action for me. There were a lot of weird dialogue close ups too.

The Last Air Bender. 6/10. I haven’t seen much of the cartoon, so I won’t compare. Acting was off, but it was a fun film.

Predators: 6/10. Mindless fun. The plot is, for the most part, nonsense.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: 6/10. Excellent special effects. I didn’t connect with the Grand Merlinian.

Inception: 10/10. I really like Nolan’s work. This was excellent (effects, plot, acting). I watched this one a few times.

Salt: 7/10. I dig Jolie. A little silly at times, but very fun.

Dinner for Schmucks: 3/10. I found this film to be irritating and crass. The laughs were few and far between.

The Expendables: 7/10. It was fun to see a tough-guy-off. Paper thin plot w/ rock solid action. Good guy movie.

The Social Network: 8/10. Partly fiction, partly fact. Well acted, good pace. Makes you want to be a billionaire.

Red: 6/10. Old guys who still want to be tough. Works okay. Slow pace. Karl Urban is excellent.

Megamind: 8/10. I love the new anti-hero hero trends. Unexpectedly entertaining.

Unstoppable: 8/10. This literally had me on the edge of my seat. It’s really simply, but it’s a good nail biter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Part 1). 5/10. This bored me to tears. Excellent cinematography but way too drawn out.

Faster: 7/10. Another fun guy movie. There’s more depth to this film than critics want to admit.

The Warrior’s Way: 5/10. Not what I was expecting (ninjas vs. cowboys). So ridiculous in parts I nearly choked to death on a Slurpee.

The Fighter: 8/10: Poignant, moving, well done. Underdog stories are always inspirational.

Tron. 8/10. Lots of fun. Good special effects, sound track, etc. There’s some uncanny valley going on, but it’s cool anyway.

True Grit: 8/10. Great humorous moments and an excellent pace. Good acting as well.

And here are a few movies from this year that I want to see, but that I missed somehow (I will try and do better in 2011).

Alice In Wonder Land, The Bounty Hunter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid,, Robin Hood, Tangled, Shrek: The Final Chapter, Grown Ups, Despicable Me, The Other Guys, Scott Pilgrim, Wallstreet: Money Never Sleeps, Black Swan. Anyone want to have a movie marathon (that should add up to about 26 hours).

Posted December 30, 2010 by Cam Hughes

Princess Bride Epilogue

Princess Bride Epilogue

Westley: You know, I’m getting kinda sick of hearing about Humperdink. What is it? I mean do you have Stockholm syndrome or something?

Buttercup: No! I just think, you know… maybe we were too hard on him.

Westley: He killed me!

Buttercup: Yeah, but Fezzik and Inigo got that miracle pill from Max and it all worked out.

Wesley: He killed me!

Buttercup (rolling eyes): But he’s all alone over there. Everyone hates him.

Westley: Wow. Okay, you know what? Go back and keep him company.

Buttercup: Westley…

Westley: What the hell is wrong with you?

Buttercup: I’m just trying to be nice. I mean what if he can’t get untied and he dies in that chair?

Fezzik: I think my horse is getting tired.

Westley [looking annoyed] : I’m sure that someone will find him and untie him.

Inigo: Well, [laughs, painfully] it won’t be Rugen!

Fezzik: You got him? Good for you!

Westley: Well, maybe Yellin then.

Fezzik: While I was wandering around I ran into him. So I went ahead and tore his arms off. I thought it would be a good idea . Was I wrong?

Inigo: You know, I am not feeling so well.

Buttercup: Oh Westley , maybe we should go back!

Westley: No, I’m not going back there. I don’t care if Humperdink dies in that chair.

Buttercup: I should have never left. This is never going to work Those miracle pills wear off.

Westley: What? Who told you that? Did you read that somewhere? [to Inigo] Is that true?

Inigo: I don’t know. I… I’ve lost a lot of blood.

Fezzick: I think my horse is about to die.

At that moment Inigo slumped over dead from loss of blood and fell from his steed. Miracle Max’s pill wore off at that same moment and Westly followed suit. Fezzik’s horse crumbled beneath him and, as he fell, his giant head hit a rock and killed him. Alone, Princess Buttercup returned to Florence where she found Price Humperdink had been untied by his mother. Humperdink killed Buttercup and immediately began revising his plan to frame Gilder.

A Peachy Halloween

I wrote this story years and years ago. I think it has one funny part. It made me laugh when I was younger, but it didn’t quite work for me now…

A Peachy Halloween

Halloween had almost arrived. Tim sat on the kitchen counter looking out the window. He was very sad. He would not be going trick or treating. There would be no costume for him, no candy and no games. Tim was a peach, and peaches did not go out on Halloween.

            That evening Tim heard the Preston children talking about carving the Pumpkin.

“We need to find the perfect pumpkin so we can decorate him!” one said.

“We will put him outside where everyone can see him!” said another.

“The pumpkin is one of the most important parts of Halloween” said the oldest.

            Tim looked himself over. He was orange, very round and had a very good personality. He straightened up as much as he could. “I would make a fine pumpkin,” he said to himself. But no one gave him a second thought, because he was a peach. The family soon left to find the perfect pumpkin. Tim sighed.

            “You want to be a pumpkin, kid?” said a ripe old Cantaloupe. Tim Nodded. The Cantaloupe rolled over to him and said, “You’re in luck. I just happen to have one wish left. I was going to use it to become human again, but I think this is a little more important.  Just leave everything to me.”

            Tim was a little doubtful but he thanked the Cantaloupe just the same. He soon fell asleep dreaming of little boys and girls running from house to house on their candy quests.

            “It’s gorgeous!” said the youngest.

            “It really is the perfect pumpkin!” said the next in line.

            “This pumpkin will make our Halloween perfect!” said the oldest. The Preston family had returned home. All of the children were staring at Tim. He looked down and was amazed to discover he had turned into a beautiful pumpkin!

            The next evening was Halloween. The Preston children were full of laughter and giggles, but no one was happier than Tim. He sat on the front porch with the biggest smile anyone had ever seen.

Zooba Bean

Years ago in college I took a children’s literature class/workshop. I wrote a couple of stories about two ant entrepreneurs named Zooba and Bean.  I liked the idea of  “antrepreneurs”  (who works harder than an ant?) and I envisioned a whole children’s series around them that would teach kids basic business ideas. I submitted one of these stories to a few publishers (it was one of the class assignments) and got positive feedback but never really bothered to follow up. I had a particular idea in mind of how it should be illustrated and wanted to do it myself (I may still try, but I think I may have found the perfect artist). 

Anyway, I registered this domain ( awhile back with the intention to pursue writing at some point in the future. I think that time may have come. It’s my intent to dig out some of my work from the last few years and publish it online here. I won’t promise you it’s great literature, but I think some of it is unique and entertaining. I have a twisted streak and have been planning to compile some of my work into a book I have entitled Terrible Short Stores for Children. Obviously it wouldn’t really be for children. Well, today’s kids though… maybe. But the Zooba-Bean stories are innocent and actually are written with children in mind.

And so, without further ado:


The Zooba Bean

“Bean, I think we’re nearly done.” Said Zooba. Bean nodded his head and replied, “Just think- we’ll be the first ants to ever accomplish something like this!”

They had named their spaceship the “Zooba-Bean” and friends all seemed to agree that it looked just like one. But no one really thought the ship would work.  Willy the worker ant said, “That’s a great looking ship but I don’t think it will take off.” Bean and Zooba replied “We’ll see!”

Zooba and Bean brought chairs and tables into their ship. Donna the digger ant said, “That’s a nice looking ship, but I don’t think you’ll have that many ants in there. Probably just you two!” Bean and Zooba replied “We’ll see!”

Zooba and Bean took huge leaves filled with food into the ship. It was enough food to feed everyone for at least a week. Scoot the scout ant said, “You don’t need that much food! It will go bad long before it can be eaten.” Bean and Zooba replied “We’ll see!”

While Zooba and Bean continued to work, the Queen ant came to visit. “I am very impressed with what the two of you have built, but I’m worried you’re wasting your time. You know that in the human world air travel is impossible without ‘Boom Juice.’ But Boom Juice is dangerous and I could never allow it in the hill.”

Zooba and Bean smiled. “Our Queen,” they said, “We have all the juice we’ll need and none of it is dangerous. We’re not wasting our time! The Queen said, “I don’t see how this ship can do what it’s supposed to do!”  Bean and Zooba replied “You’ll see!”

Zooba and Bean waited in front of the curtain that covered their spaceship. The other ants from the hill were gathered around the covered ship. They were all very curious to know what was going to happen.

Bean said, “Welcome to our grand opening!” Zooba pulled the cover off the ship. A giant sign said, “The Zooba-Bean Space Restaur-ant.” The ants gasped! None of them had thought that the spaceship was going to be a restaurant.

“No wonder you needed all those tables and chairs!” said Donna. “No wonder you needed all that food!” Said Scoot. “I guess you do have all the juice you need!” said the Queen as she held a tall glass of honey nectar. “Maybe this place will take off after all!” said Willy.


The Zooba Bean Submarine

Zooba and Bean were regarded as the best ant-repreneurs in the hill. They were already well known for their restaurant and fitness club, so when they announced they were going to build a submarine no one was surprised. When they said they would do it in three days, everyone was surprised.

Zooba and Bean worked behind a very large curtain so no one could see inside, but the other ants stopped by to have a look anyway. Brenda the bridge builder caught up with Zooba and Bean as they were gathering supplies. “That’s quite a project you’ve announced. I think you can do it, but I have a question. You’re building a submarine where there is no water.  How will it work without water?”

Zooba and Bean smiled. “We won’t need as much water as you think!” said Zooba. Brenda scratched her head.

Mary the match maker saw Zooba and Bean in the garden the next day and said, “I’m very excited about your submarine. You don’t really have time to be here in the garden though, do you? You should be working hard on the Submarine!”

Zooba and Bean smiled. “Don’t worry. We’re working on the submarine right now!” said Bean. Mary raised her eyebrows.

The day before the project was to be unveiled the Queen herself came by to have a look. Zooba and Bean came out from behind the curtain to visit with her. The Queen said, “I’ve always been impressed by what you boys have been able to accomplish. I wonder if you’ve bit off more than you can chew this time.

Zooba and Bean laughed. “We’ll see tomorrow!” said Zooba.

The big day arrived. Once more the ants from the hill gathered around a giant curtain. Zooba and Bean stood off to one side. Bean said, “It’s been very hard work, but I think you’ll all agree the results speak for themselves!” With that the curtain fell.

The ants gasped! Before them was a giant Submarine s-ant-wich! It was big enough for everyone to share. A beautiful bread roll was piled high with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese and delicious ham and turkey.. “Come and get it!” said Zooba.

As they ate Brenda said, “I guess you don’t need much water for this kind of submarine!” Mary said, “You really were working in the garden.” And the Queen said, with a mouth full of food, “It looks like it was me that bit of more than I could chew!”

Own your domain name. Register it. Otherwise someone else will and you may not like what they put on it. I finally got mine: I’ve wanted to get this domain for years, but it was owned by another party. It finally dropped and I guess good things come to those who wait. I’ve also had my eye on but it was also already owned (and is now squatted by Network Solutions). Cameron Hughes is also a wine maker with a fairly large Internet footprint so there’s some potential competition there. And to be fair, I’m really “Cam” more than I’m “Cameron” these days, so is my first pick. Go ahead- type into your browser. Ah yeah- it goes right back here.

Even though she doesn’t really care I picked up my wife’s domain name ( and redirected it to her blog. Interestingly is taken, but since Francoise  prefers her full name things worked out just fine.

You know what I want? I want to be the first result for me- for “Cam Hughes”. Right now I’m not. I’m in the top ten, but that doesn’t quite cut it. Also, much to my chagrin I share “Cam” with some girls (sweet girls who tweet). The women can share “Cameron” but “Cam” is clearly a guy’s name. It’s a freaking car part. Nothing feminine about that. “Pass me the cam so I can massacre this guy when we race.” Yes. Not “Pass me the cam so I can rest me tea cup on it.” Hell no. Luckily I’ve learned a few things about domaining and SEO in the past couple years. Mark my words people. When you type “Cam Hughes” into Google- yeah, all seven of you- the first result will be me.

On a separate, but not unrelated note, domains names are a blast. I’ve been actively engaged in building a portfolio (nothing to sell, just stuff to use). Some of it’s for business, but some of it’s just for fun. For example, I just picked up camshq (dot) com.  Some of my businesses end in “HQ” so I figured that I could have my personal headquarters at Cam’s HQ. For now it’s just a redirect- I already have way to many blogs set up. Yes… too many blogs.  But I know there’s one more coming for sure. More on that later though. I often wish I could go back in time and pick up some great domains names. Digital real estate is cool.

Oct 24, 2014: I recently sold the aforementioned domain name. I see they have turned it into a porn site. Awesome. That’s one thing that I don’t enjoy about my nickname. To many unsavory things are linked to the term “Cam.” Ah well.

February 24, 2015: The guys I sold the domain name to apparently left my personal contact information on the domain. Now if you do a search for my email address it looks like I run a porn website. Geez. Awkward. I got them to change it, but it could be a long time before Google alters their results.

Posted on December 19, 2010 by Cam Hughes (<– Oh! SEO keyword!)


December 2010 (Extreme Edition)

December has been crazy. Sometimes I like it crazy. But sometimes I wish time would just stop and everything would disappear so I could catch my breath. Sometimes you get what you wish for… 

I got a reprieve from my phone about a week ago. I don’t use a case to protect it- I don’t drop my phone often and when I have it’s always been from a sitting position. While I was climbing out of a borrowed car my phone slipped off my lap and onto the ground. I have done the exact same thing before and I got a light scratch on the screen and a nick in the casing. No suck luck this time. The screen completely shattered (this was from a drop about two feet high onto asphalt). I had the phone repaired but it took five days. I literally felt the quality of my life plummet. There was no way to be connected with things and I felt unreachable and disassociated from my life and work. Unpleasant to say the least. But more surprising, after getting my phone back the feelings I had didn’t go away. It definitely bears more investigation. 


At any rate, I have (obviously) switched to the iPhone. It’s been an amazing companion and has simplified (complicated?) my life. I really like Apple’s OS and, aside from the fact that they have banned Flash, don’t have any serious issues with the phone. And no issues with ATT for that matter (glad I got locked into the unlimited data plan before they did away with it though!). Iphone? That’s my phone.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah… December…crazy.  Work gets incredibly busy with all the holiday orders coming in. I don’t want the order volume to change and it would be ungrateful to complain , but I wish there was was an easier way to get everything done. Still, overall I’d day we’ve done remarkably well.  We have an amazing team at work and this year wouldn’t have been possible without them . So, “thank you” Aaron, Alise, Amanda, Ammon,  Anna, Apana, Chad, Fran, Jake, Jane, Jim, Justin, Mark,  Levi , Ryan and Robot Bob. All of you are awesome!

People who don’t work in retail must get a lot of time off. Everyone’s got something special planned for December. I love the events, but I wish I had more time for them (although I haven’t been sick at all this winter and that’s been wonderful!).  We’ve been to some great parties, ginger bread house competitions, movies, family gatherings and there’s a ton more to go to.

Yeah, sometimes I wish time would just stop and everything would disappear so I could catch my breath. I’d better be careful though. Sometimes you get what you wish for… 

Posted December 19, 2010

Cold Wheels

Well, it’s winter again. I park the car and get depressed. It hasn’t snowed too much, but this time of year the ground is peppered with gravel and debris. The cold doesn’t help either (it affects traction). There are little breaks in the weather here and there and I take my car out, but a once a month drive just doesn’t do it. A Vette is kind of a silly thing to own sometimes.

Ideally winter would be a good time to get some projects done. Sadly, I’m in the retail industry and there isn’t much free time during the winter. All I really have to do at the moment though is replace my wideband sensor (they go bad occasionally). Right now it defaults into error status after a few minutes of driving. I might just unplug it since I don’t really need it now since the car it tuned. But I wish it was working…  Yeah, my wideband will be my winter project.

And that’s a wrap for the year. I’ll see you guys in the spring!

Posted by Cam Hughes,  December 10th, 2010

2010 Home “Improvements”

Once in awhile we wish we could go back in time and change a few things. A light switch here. Speaker wiring there. An additional electrical socket, a few more bedrooms, a whole different house. Just sometimes. But the truth is, we’ll be here for awhile (it would e a shame to uproot our kids). So, may as well make the best of it! We’ve done a lot o little makeover projects this year. Forgot about the return on investment- these improvements are just things to make us more comfortable.

Fran enlisted our neighbor, an interior decorator named  Stacy Slaney, to redesign our Master bedroom. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. The redesigned room is warm, comfortable and elegant.

Here are some pictures I borrowed from Stacy’s website. I like them better because they show the before & after. It’s a definite improvement!

Stacy also added  highlight walls in the kid’s rooms (pink in the girl’s, blue in the boys’).  She  also painted a wall downstairs in the kitchen/dining area with a dark sage.  The new colors really add a depth to house. Who knew painting a few walls could feel so good?

And heat tape. We did it for you. Each year water freezes in our gutters and starts to drip onto the entry walkway. This results in a thick patch of ice affectionately dubbed “the porch of death.” We finally did something about it. The heat tape melts the ice on the front portion of our roof and runs all the way through the front gutter system. Fingers crossed. We also had and electrical socket added on the eve so we could plug in Christmas lights. We should have done that when we built the house…

We also fixed our driveway (again). Around here most of the driveways were poured by Hadco. With a few exceptions they are all falling apart. Initially we complained so much that Hadco re-poured our driveway at cost (I think that was supposed to be a secret, but it was still a rip-off  so who cares?). Within a year it was falling apart again (not to mention sinking). So, this time we used a company called RepairCrete to resurface and seal the driveway. Fran had them do the front porch in red with a snazzy texture. It really turned out great. Now we’re anxious to see how this holds up during the winter. Is it too much to ask for a good driveway?

RepairCrete, Roof Heat Tape

Also of absolute riveting fascination:  ceiling fans!  The red one went in the basement (in place of a can light).  The other fan is in the office. It’s always too hot or too cold in there so a fan helps us regulate the temperature.  Man, I love ceiling fans.

In an earlier post I mentioned how my “man room” had become the new laundry room. Well, the laundry room finally became a mud room. Classy Closets came by and whipped us up a set of shelves that would put Ikea to shame (and don’t get me wrong- I love Ikea). It’s really nice to have a place to come in and take off shoes  and jackets. Plus there’s a ton of storage space for tools, cleaning supplies and what not.

And here’s a fun little side project. We redid our floors in granite. Okay, you got me. It was granite laminate. And it was Claire’s dollhouse. Fran disassembled it and moved it into the basement. Before reassembling it she wanted to recover the floor (you can clearly see why!). The project ended up taking three hours and I did my usual grumbling and complaining. This is a big dollhouse. Now we need to paint the  roof red. Or maybe just “lose” the roof.

And that’s about it for 2010 home improvements. In some ways it’s nice to stay in the same house for so long- you get settled in and you can start to make changes you want. And if you’re going to stay for a long time you don’t need to worry about resellability as much. Do things you like becuase you want them.

Posted December 05, 2010