Friday, January 28, 2011

25th Anniversary of the Challenger tragedy


So, the word about town is it's the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. Click here for a good article with pics and vids over at Gizmodo.

I remember exactly where I was when it happened. I was in 3rd period science class in 9th grade.

I remember my teacher, Mrs. Allen, wheeling in the TV cart—there weren't laptops or video projectors available at the time. My science teacher was so excited that she wanted all 20 of us to be quiet when they weren't really saying anything on the TV that was important.

I remember the teacher in the next class came over to watch as well, bringing his students into our already crowded classroom. Now there were around 40 of us.

I remember being pretty interested in the launch. Not because I was a space fanatic but just because I always wanted to fly and space launch was pretty close and probably fantastic in itself. I also just like seeing rockets launch. I'm a boy. What else do we care about at that age but electronics, sports and planes/rockets (I liked girls too but that's another story).

I remember the count down.

I remember it starting to lift off.

I remember the flames and all the smoke coming out of the rockets.

I remember how cool it looked on the 27-inch tube TV.

I remember it getting higher and higher.

I remember seeing this quick, smokey explosion thinking this was when the booster rockets separated.

I remember seeing the two booster rockets bow away from the cloud of smoke between them and start to wiggle into their own random flight pattern.

I remember not seeing the shuttle continue its ascent.

I remember my teacher looking at the other teacher wondering what had happened. Both were confused.

I remember silence in the classroom. Then...

I remember the commentator saying something like, "Where is the Challenger?" and "They seemed to have lost contact with the Challenger" and then after a few minutes or ten, the realization happened. NASA reports that the Challenger space shuttle has exploded and all crew members have perished.

I remember Mrs. Allen crying, subtly at first and then somewhat hysterically. She bolted out the classroom door into the hall and continued to cry.

I remember Mrs. Allen composing herself and then wheeling the TV cart back out to the hall and into another room where she and a few other teachers continued to watch the drama. I think it was smart of her to do this for the students and her as well.

I remember going home later in the day and knowing what had transpired but it really not affecting me personally. I knew it was tragic. I knew it was historical. But what did a 14-yr-old boy really care about in the world?

As a mature adult, I look back and I feel for the families of the crew. I understand this now as I have a family of my own that I care for and raise. I also see that if I was a kid and my mother/father had the opportunity to go into space it would be the fucking coolest thing EVER! In fact as a parent, if my child had that opportunity, it would still be the fucking coolest thing but I would worry in the back of my mind.

So, as an old guy, I say to those young and old: Remember the events in your life directly and indirectly, big and small, because one day you will say, "That was the fucking coolest thing...EVER!"

Is technology making us dumb?

I just upgraded my cell phone from a Blackberry 8310 to an HTC Evo Shift. I won't go into the details of the phone and all but I will say this, "It's different...way different!"

The point of my post is that continuously improving technology is dumbing us down—at least partially anyway. It could be just me but I doubt it. I agree it's assisting us to do better, greater, things but I think it's dwindling our brain power, specifically our memorization skills.

Switching phones has made me realize this.

Quick, tell me the phone number of a person that you talk to only once or twice a day.

Can't do it can you? Don't lie!

I can recall my wife's cell number in lightning speed. Not just because her number has the same first six numbers as mine but also because I call it ALL the time from my office phone or our house phone when I don't have my cell phone near me. I can dial my house number without pause because I dial it all the time from my work phone. I can call my office phone because I use it to check my work voice mail. They are all in my cell phone contacts list butI can dial them from memory.

Everyone else is on my cell phone I know their number as Stephanie, Shawn, Keith, Andy, Trey, etc. Have you tried punching in "T-R-E-Y" into a land line? It doesn't dial Trey's number nor does "A-N-D-Y" or "K-E-I-T-H" dial their respective numbers.

Now granted, I don't call these people often but I think it is often enough that I should have their number memorized by now if I was actually dialing it instead of selecting their name from my contacts list on my cell phone.

The worst (best?) story I have is the following: I am sitting at my desk working away at my computer. My office phone clicks - I don't like the ringing so there is a setting that makes the phone sort of click instead of ring. I look at the display and it's a number that seems familiar but I'm not totally convinced I know it. I don't answer it because my phone is part of a phone tree we used to have and I get the randomest, dumbest callers looking for information when it is now all on our website. Anyway, the phone clicks for 3-4 times and stops. About 10 seconds later, I hear it click again. I see it's the same somewhat-familiar number. I think to myself, "This caller really wants to talk to someone." I let it "ring" and stop once again. About 10 seconds later, my cell phone vibrates. I look at the display and see that it's my youngest calling because it has the name displayed. I look at the number and it's the same number that was calling my office line. How stupid am I that I don't even fully recall my own child's cell phone number?

So, I'm going to try a new tactic. I decided I'm going to try and dial the numbers of people I'm going to call instead of hitting Contacts->Name. I've tried it a few times and it's difficult because when I start to type the number it automatically reflects the numbers I have saved and shows the match possibilities. Most all of the time it's the exact person and I'm tempted to just reach my thumb up a few inches and click the name. It's like sticking my tongue to a 9-volt battery—I know what will happen but I can't keep from doing it.

Anyway, that's my thought and I'm going to attempt to get my "memory" back. Or at least practice using it a little more. Maybe it'll help in my studies...I'll take anything to help in that area!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

In case you didn't know, Super Bowl Ex El Vee or El minus Ex plus Vee or Forty-five or 45 is coming to Dallas—well Arlington which is a suburb of Dallas—to be played in Jerry Jones' dome castle! You can see it in my simple pictures from my point-and-shoot here.

It is about a week away and I've read/heard/seen lots of promotions for things going on in Dallas and Fort Worth every day/night until the day of. I'm sure there will be more the day of.

On the radio this morning, I heard that the Dallas Convention Center is having some big event where "you can meet NFL superstars!" What they failed to mention is that as long as they were former Dallas Cowboys. I don't know if there are more but the names they mentioned were Tony Dorsett, Drew Pearson, "Moose" Johnston, and Troy Aikman.

Now, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't mind meeting these NFL superstars. As a kid, I watched Dorsett and Pearson. As an early-to-mid-twenties adult, I watched Johnston and Aikman. I've never been a huge football fan. I'm knowledgeable on the sport and watched it with my Dad and friends but who wouldn't want to meet these guys? I'm sure it'll cost an arm and leg but obviously there will be people who can easily pay for it and those that are willing to sell their children to do it.

I guess that's about all I got on that. I just thought it was funny how they say "NFL Superstars" and then followed up with only listing former Cowboys players.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is what's wrong with the world!

Part of a quote from a story about a grand piano I read at Yahoo!News:
...not responsible for...
Yep! Simple as that.

This coming from the spokesperson of a state agency in Florida called Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He goes on to say,
...unless it becomes a navigational hazard, the U.S. Coast Guard won't get involved.
My first thought is, this is a funny prank. It's obviously a prank unless someone is planning a "stunt" or something later and didn't inform the powers that be.

Second, I'd say this spokesperson for the Commission is a complete and utter dip shit! Saying we don't know how it got there and we don't know when it'll be removed because we don't do this kind of shit is ridiculous. Granted it wasn't the Commission's fault but wouldn't you think they would want to remove it for the potential of it becoming an issue? How hard would it be to break it down and put it on a skiff or something and dispose of it properly? Or light the damn thing on fire while it's on the sand barge and remove what's left because it will be significantly less. I don't understand this mentality of "I didn't do it so why should I clean it up?" It's not like it's an oil spill or something grand...okay it is a grand piano but you know what I mean.

Finally, if the Commission doesn't step up, why wouldn't the Coast Guard? Is the spokesperson speaking on behalf of the Coast Guard or just assuming what the Guard's response would be? My hope would be the Coast Guard would be smart and say, "Commission...dudes! You need to step up!" And if they didn't, the Coast Guard should and bill those lazy fuckers at the Commission.

Lack of pride, ownership, sensibility, responsibility and just general smarts is why America, and the world, is going to shit. It's not Bush, Obama, Bin Laden, God, Allah, Buddha or the high school principal. It's the people that allow other people to be stupid and not pointing out to them that they should take a step back and THINK!

It's like if I saw that a neighbor of mine's house was getting robbed. It's not my job to watch the neighborhood so I won't get involved and call the police. It also only affects my neighbor right now and not the entire neighborhood just yet so until it happens to someone else why should anyone care?

Overnight this piano was placed on the sand barge. Overnight it could disappear. Would the Commission, Coast Guard and anyone know what happened to it if they didn't remove it themselves? It could have sunk into the water without knowledge and then a boat hits it and causes deaths or whatever.

You get the point, right?

End rant!


Thundercats! Thundercats! Thundercats...HO!

Image courtesy of GeekTyrant

Dude! I loved this show! I used to watch this growing up. I can't remember if I was 7 or 15 but it was something I watched on a weekly basis during Saturday Morning Cartoons...known now as Saturday Morning CRAP!

Anyway, I don't have a lot of time these days to begin with so all my excitement will be all for naught but it would be cool to see this again. I think Lion-O looks a little young compared to the original series but I don't know the story line behind this reboot. Also, Cheetara doesn't look as "refined" as she did in the original. She was portrayed more sophisticated and mature than the character looks in this new image. She looks too trashy and Kesha-like.

I know. I know. It's a freaking cartoon. Leave me alone!

Anyway, can't wait to see if it lives up to the original.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Email humor 01/25/2011




Test driving the 2011 Tachyon XC HD Helmet Cam

About a week ago, I received my 2011 Tachyon XC HD Helmet Cam that I posted about here. Basic shipping was fairly quick. It delivered within 5 days and that was just fine for me as I had no immediate plans/ideas on what to do with it. I think I mentioned it was a WAY spontaneous purchase.

It delivered in a pretty standard smallish corrugated box. It had the ballooned plastic bag packaging that secured another smaller box which was the actual camera box. So, they were already leaps and bounds ahead of how Walmart ships computer/electronic products.

I opened the box to reveal the camera, two mounts (one for everything/anything or the top of a helmet and one for the side of a helmet), a 12" strip of velcro tape, USB cable, HDMI cable, remote control, and 2 lens covers for paintballing protection. I think that was about it. Oh yeah, there is a glossy 3x5 paper that says something like, "To save the universe, we have put the manual online and is available at blah blah blah." Not that I'm knocking their attempt at saving trees but a quick-start 3x5 paper could have sufficed versus what they decided to do.

Anyhow...I was eager to jump in and just shoot some quick video to see how it worked/looked. I borrowed the 8GB SD Class 6 card from my Canon point-and-shoot camera for saving. I put in some AA batteries that I know are newish—they were bought about two weeks ago but haven't been used and have been kept in a dry room-temperature cabinet. I turned the camera on and hit the START/STOP button. I recorded about 10 seconds of my desk area and the camera battery status bar showed very low. I was like, "WTF?" because I just put the "new" batteries in. I thought maybe I got a bad two or had some older batteries than I thought. So I picked two more and it did the same thing.

Now I have to confess that these batteries were the Sunbeam brand from the 99-Cent store...come on, I can get 4 for $1 and sometimes 8 for $1. After reading a bit in the manual, I find that it recommends some of the most expensive fucking batteries known to man. The manual suggests Energizer Ultimate Lithium suggesting it will last 6-8 hours of recording. It also recommended some high-end Duracel batteries but I don't recall the exact name and it only expected 4-6 hours of battery juice.

I finally got some of the Energizer Ultimate Lithiums. Damn things are like $8.99 for four at Fry's but I've seen some for $10-$12 at other places like Kroger. These damn things better provide much better and longer juice than the Sunbeam bitches!

Turns out they do. Now I don't know if they get the 6-8 hours the Tachyon manual suggested but I have gotten about 2- 2 1/2 hours...so far.

Here is a slightly over two minute video of my driving and testing the Tachyon XC HD camera. I upped the speed to 2x for the video and added Alphaville's Forever Young because there is absolutely no sound or any good sounds picked up by this camera. I can tell you four kids were in the vehicle talking, yelling, singing and the radio was up pretty high but yet the camera plays it back like they were whispering. I knew this going in so it's not an issue for me as I'm not exactly wanting to use this to record my kids' activities.

Without further ado...



The video is pretty damn clear. Amazingly so. It also didn't pick up the jitter or bounce of the camera. I think it may have image stabilization but I'm not sure. There were times when the car vibrated due to rough pavement and you could hear the camera rattle because I only taped down one side of the mount. It was a test run so I wasn't making a more secure fixture as I just needed quick and temporary.

I still have another 58 minutes of driving but it's not much different than this 2 minutes. I like it because it is cool for me to see all the different places I drive and may or may not see because of having to pay attention to driving. Also, it would be cool for historical purposes (personally) to see how the highways, streets and structures have/will change.

So, stay tuned for hopefully some more video sharing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toilets

The restrooms in my building that I work in have been remodeled, except the 3rd floor. I don't know what the women's restroom looks like but this is what originally welcomed me in my first week of work many year ago.

Taken with my new HTC Evo Shift!

I'm not sure why the design of these "urinals" were introduced into our building but it's scary. What male would want to stand next to someone in the "wide open" with his tallywacker hanging out and taking a piss? And why would he? Unless you are a bunch of friends or maybe even just hunters/rednecks I could see sharing the great "wide open" as your urinal but this is a university campus building. I mean shit, at least give me a privacy panel between me and the guy next to me. You ever heard of splatter protection? Okay, maybe not in urinals that are like weird toilets.

I just thought about this...again...as I had to use the restrooms in the building and I just happened to be on the third floor. Granted the third floor probably isn't a high-traffic area for restroom use but I'm sure it's still used by 10-12 people a day.

So, this was pretty random, I know. I'm tired. I was up watching the Australian Open while trying to do some reading/homework that was due for my class today. Needless to say, I barely got any work done but I did read a little. Going to bed at 12:30am and getting up at 6:30am to shower and then actually do the homework sucks ass!

Anyway...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

They want how much for a Zune HD?

I saw this in the weekly ad for Best Buy dated 1/23/11.

It made me think two things:
  1. They still have/make Zune HDs to sell?
  2. They still want over $200 for it?
Don't take my skepticism as hate. I loved my 1st gen Zune 30GB that I bought as a refurb from Woot.com. It lasted me a couple of years before I tried to replace the battery myself and forgot what I was doing and removed too many parts. I ended up breaking some soderings and shit and before you know it my dumb ass had a busted Zune. I could have done further repairs but buying the parts I needed I could purchase a brand new Zune, iTouch or something of the like.

Anyway, point is that I'm not a hater. I'm just flabbergasted that since they didn't sell well when they came out (not like they were forecasting anyway) why the hell are they still trying to get $200+ out of these things. I know. I know. They want to get their money's worth but are they actually going to? I think not.

With the iTouch moving along and advancing with the added camera, I think the other media players are falling behind. Now, I don't think I'd use the camera a whole lot on the new iTouch but you never know. I've never used a lot of functions on my basic phones or media players but once I upgraded to a smartphone or a fancier media player, I ended up using it more than I thought...usually because if I buy, I better use it.

Anyway, I would purchase a Zune HD just for the fact of having one if it was like $100-$125. But double that? Forget about it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Villa Rides (1968)

Went home during lunch the other day and looked to see what was on my "free Showtime" channels. It turns out I get some channel called FLIX.

They had this older flick called Villa Rides from 1968. As previously mentioned, these movies are the reason why I don't pay for "premium" movie channels.

Anyway, I was curious to take a gander at it because the actors listed were Yul Brynner and Charles Bronson. What a combination! You got a guy that played some semi-peaceful king and a cold-blooded-vigilante-type good cop. Also, knowing that Villa is Mexican and the movie was about him I was interested to see who played the Mexicans in the movie.

It was sort of funny for me to see that Brynner was the main character, Villa, and Bronson was like the right-hand man to Yul's Villa. I found it amusing because they are European "whites" and yet they were playing North American Mexicans. They did pass the role fairly well themselves but the kicker was one of the females. A white, American aviator played by Robert Mitchum stopped by some church to say 'Goodbye' to his Mexican lady love who just happens to be very fair-skinned with the bluest blue eyes I have EVER seen on a Mexican woman much less ANY ethnic woman. She did have black hair which makes all the difference in making sure the audience knows she's Mexican.

The movie was okay to watch but I remember it more for the oddities of actors chosen for the parts. I guess they had to make due in the 'old days.'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10+ years with Yahoo!

.

I received this in my Yahoo! email today.

10+ years!

I can't believe it. Well, I guess I can but damn!

Two things are funny about this to me.
  1. This is the only 'thanks' I get for being a long-term customer/member?
  2. I have never changed my password on this account since I opened it.
I don't know what this 'Yahoo Beta' looks like but I'm a little leery about testing it and it screwing up my account. It's happened before with a different account.

Anyway, welcome to random!


That's all I got to say about that!
 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Machete ( 2010)

Watched Machete today.

I thought it was an okay movie. It started with action and then it slowed down a little bit and then the action picked up again. Overall, I would say it was a 7 out of 10 at the most.

I did find it funny how Robert De Niro's character seemed to resemble a former Texas governor named George Bush. It was uncanny...and I'm sure totally planned.

I had to double-take to make sure that I saw Don Johnson. Former Mister Sonny or Nash has gotten WAY gray-haired and fat! He played a his part well though. It was funny to me how his character was killing Mexicans but to me he could have easily been mistaken as having Mexican descent.

Danny Trejo is one ugly son of a bitch and to see him kissing Jessica Alba made me upchuck a bit.

Speaking of Alba, she didn't look to "tidy" in this movie. I'm guessing it was part of her "hard working" ICE agent but they could have made her up a little. I mean Michelle Rodriguez looked hotter and she worked in a roach coach.

The blond wife of the senator's PR guy, Jeff Fahey, was ugly but attractive in a duality kind of way. I mean she looked older than she really is (maybe for her character) but the amount of boobage she showed made up for any faults she may have had.

Oh yeah and the girl on the left (or the to the right of Machete) in this NSFW photo, is NOT Lindsay Lohan. I have seen many photos of Lindsay's breasts and these are not hers. Plus, there was a shot of this girl's belly/body and it is not the same as earlier/later in the movie when you know it's Lindsay showing her nude-but-with-the-goods-covered body.

And about Lindsay's part in the movie and being on some promotional poster before the movie came out was overplayed or totally unnecessary. I think she was touted as "The Nun." She was a 'nun' for about 10-15 minutes at the end of the movie. She only shot her 'Daddy' (De Niro...and didn't even kill him). She had some machine gun that she fired into the air to scare whoever the random Mexicans and Rednecks from fighting each other.

Anyway, I thought the movie was worth watching. If you can borrow it from a friend for free, even better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Email humor 01/12/2011

Adult Truths

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?


20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.


That's all I got to say about that!
 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some of the greatest songs, in my opinion

At work, I'm listening to a stream on WinAmp called 181.FM -- Classic Hits -- Home of the 60s and 70s. I thought I'd find some station that doesn't play the same old "new" shit every 10-15 minutes. The songs of today are bad in the sense that they are repetitive themselves and then the radio station repeats them multiple times within an hour. This in turn makes me annoyed.

So, I looked for diversity at work. I found it in 181.FM. It repeats some songs as well but the songs themselves aren't repetitive with their lyrics so it makes them way more tolerable. Also, they sometimes flash me back to times through my life.

Anyway, I heard a few songs that made me think that they are timeless. Songs that have been passed from generation to generation and still hold their own to the "music" of today. Here is a list of what I've heard and consider somewhat timeless and great songs (I also added songs from the 80s just because I can).
  • When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge
  • Kokomo by The Beach Boys
  • Black Water by The Doobie Brothers
  • Hot Blooded by Foreigner
  • Double Vision by Foreigner
  • Blinded by the Light by Manfred Man
  • Bennie and the Jets by Elton John
  • Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles
  • Lyin' Eyes by The Eagles
  • Hotel California by The Eagles
  • Take It to the Limit by The Eagles
  • One Way Or Another by Blondie
  • Rock'n Me by Steve Miller Band
  • Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band
  • Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band
  • Babe by Styx
  • Get Down Tonight by KC & The Sunshine Band
  • That's The Way (I Like It) by KC & The Sunshine Band
  • (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty by KC & The Sunshine Band
  • Wheel in the Sky by Journey
  • Open Arms by Journey
  • Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' by Journey
  • Anyway You Want It by Journey
  • Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
  • Who's Crying Now by Journey
  • Separate Ways by Journey
  • Faithfully by Journey
  • Send Her My Love by Journey
  • Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police
  • King of Pain by The Police
  • Roxanne by The Police
  • Every Breath You Take by The Police
  • Still of the Night by Whitesnake
  • Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
There are plenty more but these are the ones that I've heard and have popped off the top of my head within the past 10-15 minutes of typing this. Besides, I think I should get back to work for a while.

How stupid are Texas drivers?

From a WFAA traffic/weather blog:
8:19 a.m.: Dallas Fire-Rescue has reported that as of 7:20 a.m., they have responded to 72 vehicle accidents since midnight.
Yes, it is icy in parts out there but people are still driving like bats out of hell!

On the way to drop the kids off at school (which is less than a mile away), some man almost ran through a stop sign that Ts into the street I was on. He then had the audacity to honk at me while I was sitting in the far right lane at a light because he wanted to turn right onto the service road whereas I was going straight. I'm sure he'll cause or have an accident but if it was legal for me to snap a few rounds in his ass when he honked at me, I could have prevented further issue from him with someone else.

I'm just saying...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Inception (2010)

Some days ago before Christmas, the wife and I watched Inception (2010). I guess you could say we were excited. We heard a few reviews and comments. They all said it was a very good movie.

I guess in some way they were right. Okay, not really.

We didn't totally dislike the movie. We just didn't like it that much. We think the "liked its" were full of shit or had to be high on something at the time of watching.

Any more that requires that much explanation, about 30 minutes to an hour of the beginning of the movie is nothing but what dreams are, how they can be exploited, and inception. Too much talk a little more substance. Even the wife was bored and she likes the intellectual-type shit!

What I got from the movie is this:
  • Ellen Page is like Kristen Stewart...they don't have much of a range with their acting abilities. Maybe the older they get and the more movies they do, as long as they aren't like the one they did before, they'll be able to hone their craft.
  • Ellen Page is hot in a 'plain Jane' kind of way although she does have a weird walk.
  • Leonardo Dicaprio gets uglier the older he gets. I mean he wasn't that cute, in my manly opinion, when he was younger but he is most definitely ugly now.
  • I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There's just something about his personality and character in the few roles I've seen him in. He was funny in 3rd Rock from the Sun.
  • Tom Berenger is old! I liked him in Platoon, Sniper and maybe a few others but he's all jacked up now these days like Ray Liotta.
  • The movie was too long. I think it could have been like 45 minutes to an hour and it may have been more appealing to watch.
  • I disliked at the end how they showed Dicaprio's spinning top thingy. How it didn't stop spinning or may have but they cut the scene just as it looked as if it would stop. I hate when they do shit like that in movies. I mean there has to be a better way to let people know that there is a possibility of a sequel. This industry standard right now is stupid. It's like how Jason Voorhees is dead at the end of Friday the 13th movies but then his eyes open right before the scene fades to black. Stupid!
So, I guess that's my take and partially my wife's of this movie. Personally, I feel like I wasted a couple of hours of my life but there have been other movies I've done so with as well. If you have nothing else to do, borrow this from a friend but I wouldn't pay more than $2 for the rental fee otherwise.

Tachyon XC HD and/or GoPro Hero HD

I guess there is some CES show going on because I'm seeing a lot of random posts on Gizmodo, BoingBoing and other "geeky" websites/blogs about upcoming products and such. It's getting kind of annoying.

However, I did see one article that is of interest, mainly because I just have been looking at this product along with another for comparison. I probably really don't need either product but I can't help but want it and see what I will do with it.

So the article title is GoPro Sports Camera goes 3-D.

I've been looking at the GoPro Hero HD (now at Best Buy for $299.99) and the Tachyon XC (now with HD for $179.99).

Again, I don't know how much I'd actually use this for action sports or whatever but I think I could find something to do with either of them...maybe both...especially if I purchase one (which I did) or both.

Yep, I took the plunge for the cheaper one (Tachyon at $179) yesterday to see what I can do with this little guy. I figured the cheaper one was a better investment for me in case I decide to eBay it or something after I find that I don't REALLY need it.

I've look at many videos from both cameras and they are both pretty cool on YouTube or wherever. It's tough to decide. I mean I like the extra effort put into make the Tachyon's housing waterproof instead of the GoPro's separate housing. The quality and options in mounts are pretty equal for both. After looking at the two again today, I have noticed a main difference in video recording. The Tachyon is 720p at 30fps while the GoPro is 1080p/960p/720p at 30 or 60fps. That's a big difference in my opinion but I'm no videophile so I don't know what actual difference in video quality it is for 30fps versus 60fps or 720p versus 1080/960p. I'm sure both are pretty good but in my uneducated opinion, the 1080p @ 60fps would have to be better than 720p @ 30fps. I would assume this is the reason for the slightly over $100 difference in price. Again, I'm not a video expert but this is obviously not apples to apples comparison but apples to apples+oranges+grapefruits.

I'm excited to get the Tachyon and see what it does for me. If I like it, I might actually jump in for a GoPro for the extra HD resolutions. Again, I'd have to research more and see a product on MY computer versus on web.

Once, I get the Tachyon XC HD and get to tinker and play around with it I'll try to remember to do a follow-up post to give my personal review to add to the many already out there. Maybe this will be the one product that I type about getting, got and used but never returned to post my opinion.

I wouldn't hold your breath.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Dammit! My ASUS G50VT-X5 crashed!

Sunday night I woke about 2 a.m. to a clicking noise. It was consistent and constant.

I walked toward the restroom in our bedroom which requires me to pass by my desk with my notebook. This is where the clicking was coming from...the ASUS notebook. Someone reviewed/photographed it here.

Dammit again!

I purchased this machine from Best Buy roughly a year ago and I was smart enough to get a service agreement on it. I'm not sure if they will replace the hard drive, probably not...more than likely not.

I've spent the past couple of hours trying to restore it to a Hitachi 500 GB notebook drive. It's taking a long time. I've reinstalled it the software twice and have yet to get to a final boot screen or a login screen.

I'm getting frustrated. Pissed off.

That's why I think it might be a Best Buy Geek Squad thing. If it's not taking to the drive as simply as running the install disk, there's got to be something more wrong, right?

Anyway, I've been waiting about 20 minutes now and I am still seeing the green vertical lines scrolling across the bar in the boot up sequence, thinga-majob.

I'm going to throw it...okay, not really but I feel like it.


That's all I got to say about that!
 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Is online shopping risky?

This is a little late but better late than never...sometimes...right? Anyway...

This holiday season and the previous few I have turned to online shopping for a lot of my gifts for the family and a few of the friends. It's convenient, time-saving and I get to avoid all the asshole drivers and dickhead holiday shoppers. How's that for Christmas spirit?

Anyway, I ordered my Alienware m11x from Dell.com and this is the box that they shipped it in. No outside box. No identity-covering brown paper. Nothing. It's not extremely obviously identifiable as a laptop but still.


I bought a very discounted HP all-in-one printer for the wife from Walmart.com. I figured that $20 was a decent investment for an all-in-one. It was shipped in the box in the following picture. It's obvious. It's extremely easily identifiable. It delivered exactly as shown.


I ordered two Sony Vaios for my children from Buy.com. It sounds extravagant but they are teens and they will need to stop using my computers for their school work. Also, I got regularly-priced Vaios at $799 for $599. I could not pass up the deal and it worked out that they both wanted (and needed) their own PCs. The Vaios were shipped in their respective laptop boxes and then they were both packed inside this plain, brown cardboard box. Hiding what they were AND adding extra protection.


In my non-strategic analysis, Buy.com has the most favorable packing and shipping of their products customers have purchased online. The box was indistinguishable as to what it contained and it was shipped UPS. I doubt that the shipping provider has much to do with the way the product was initially packaged but maybe it does. Maybe UPS requires the extra layer of boxing for their protection as well as the end customer. Again, I don't know.

What I do know is that the products from Dell and Walmart were both shipped via FedEx.

FedEx made not extra effort to hide my packages but instead left them in plain view on my porch in front of my door. UPS dropped my box off but made a point to put it as out of view as possible from easy viewing from the street while at the same time I was able to know something was delivered (of course, the box was much bigger and it would ben damn difficult to miss for anyone walking to my porch. It probably also helps that UPS delivers regularly in my area and specifically on my street to multiple residences. It probably is also helpful that because UPS is a regular on the street that they tend to delivery later in the day usually after 5 p.m. because there are more businesses nearby that they have to hit before the 9-5 workday ends. FedEx dropped off the two packages at different times of the day. Maybe they just don't visit the area as much and don't have the need to deliver businesses first and then residences. Again, I'm just making assumptions here.

Overall, this won't affect my future online purchases but it does make one wonder if it would make a difference to ask an online store to make sure the product is delivered in a discreet, non-descript box. It may be asking too much but at the same time when FedEx and even UPS drops off a box on the porch and the delivery status changes to "DELIVERED," how is a problem of "a missing package" dealt with if it was stolen from a porch?

So, there are my random thoughts for online shopping. I think it's great and convenient. I don't just shop online to avoid the assholes. If I can get a better deal by braving the ignorant drivers and shoppers, then I will drive to the store to get the product. But I just usually happen to get a damn good deal online. Oh yeah, site-to-store is a good bargain too if you have the time for the "delivery" because sometimes the site-to-store delivery is like 3-5 days or more whereas having it shipped to the house takes 1-3 days or more and sometimes free shipping is offered.