Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dallas Stars lose 1st round playoff matchup

What a disappointment! I guess I shouldn't have expected too much.

I know, I know. I am a fan and should be happy that they got to the playoffs. I should be happy that they are a young team and will have a good chance next year to get into the first round again...and lose again.

I'm just bitter. That's what I am and what I do.

To top it off, the Dallas Mavericks blew it in game four of their series. They got lucky to pull out a win in game three because there were to many individuals. If they would keep playing like a team versus individuals trying to make the dumbest shots and the dumbest attempts, they would have won game four and it'd be 3-1 for the Mavs.

This is why I hate liking sports teams. They piss me off.

Hell, everyone and everything pisses me off.

I may need counseling. :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 NHL Playoffs

The playoff brackets have been set for the pursuit of Lord Stanley's Cup. I haven't been able to watch a lot of hockey this season. Even a bunch of the Stars games have been missed. Mainly for two reasons: (1) I'm not that into the Stars this season. They've been pretty miserable the past few seasons or so and they just haven't given me a lot of reasons to religiously watch them when there are so many other good entertainment options available on TV and (2) When I moved to my new home, I switched from DirecTV Total Plus to AT&T Uverse U300. U300 does not have the NHL channel for some reason. So, I can only get my hockey games for the Stars and/or the ones that are broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

Anyway, the Dallas Stars have made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. I'm glad for them. I'll probably...definitely...watch their playoff games. I've followed them since their inception into Dallas back in 1993.

There are a lot of new, young faces on the team. There are a lot of new frustrations I have now when I watch them play. I'm too old to give this much shit about it.

Anyway, here's a screen grab of the playoff bracket in case anyone wants to see it immediately.


That's all I got to say about that!

In the news 04/13/2014

This was actually something that I saw/read a week or so ago but I've just gotten around to posting about it.

     From Deadspin:

          Cleveland Indians Fan In Redface Meets A Native American

Click here for article while it lasts.

To turn stuff like this into bullshit controversy is what's wrong with the press or news industry. They try to make things that aren't that big of deal or controversial in to a controversial big deal. I'm not saying that Native Americans (aka Indians) weren't taken advantage of or oppressed but to say that team names and mascots are racist is ridiculous to me.

Just because some person (in this case a white man) dresses up in some fashion of his favorite team mascot doesn't mean he should feel insensitive, embarrassed or ashamed for the way he supported his team. Now if someone was saying, "Scalp the Redskins or Chiefs or whatever" then maybe there can be some insensitivity there.

I guess we should just go ahead and fix the names for Chicago Blackhawks, black tea, black ice...in respect of the oppression and mistreatment of blacks.

What the hell...we should just go ahead and start at the top and change the name of The White House!

I think you get the ridiculousness of it all. If you don't, the great old U. S. of A. is doomed.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coast HP17 13" LED Flashlight

I've typed about this before. I have an addiction. Who's kidding whom? I've got many addictions. So...

Hello, My name is Absent-Minded Jay and I am addicted to flashlights. Everyone knows about it and I'm not even ashamed of it. One never knows when you might need a good flashlight. And knowing you got a really good deal on a good flashlight, makes it even better.

I'm also addicted to getting a good...very good...deal on the stuff I buy. I'm a big fan of slickdeals.net. I believe this is where I saw my latest deal to feed my flashlight addiction.

I don't remember how much this flashlight cost (I probably hid the receipt so no one could find out that I bought ANOTHER flashlight!) but I do know that I got it for half the MSRP.

Without further adieu — please meet the

Coast HP17 13" LED Flashlight!
(tah dah!)

I took just a few pictures with my SIII camera. I tried to capture the brightness of the high and low settings but I don't think it worked very well. The first 'on' photo is high and the second is low. I think the different brightness affected the way the camera captured the light. The higher level made everything around the flashlight darker almost black. The lower level made the background show more. Neither image makes the levels look different so I'll have to try to describe.

High is pretty bright. I think the manual says it's 615 lumens. I have no way to measure. I just know that it looks pretty bright. Much, much brighter than my 100 lumens flashlight. The throw on it is pretty wide too. It can be narrowed/focused into a tighter beam but it still has a wide aura around the narrower beam. In other words, narrowing doesn't really make it a spot beam. It's more like the high beam is in the middle (smaller of course than when not narrowed) and the lower beam shines around it. Does that make sense?

Low is pretty low. It's really dimmer than I expected. I think the manual says 64 lumens. Again, I can't measure. I just know it's dim and in fact dimmer than many of my smaller pocket flashlights. I don't know why the huge difference in lumens. I would think that huge gap would be used more in a light that you can manually dim from 615 to 64 or vice versa. Not so much in a Hi/Lo switch. It's not an issue really. I truly don't know what the effect will be since I've only used this briefly in my house to look in the closet and on the small back patio. For those purposes, the high level was very bright and useful. The low level was, well, low but in that brief use, it made me think of when you are outside at night and a car's headlights drive by and you are trying to use the beam from the car headlights to see things. The headlight beam may have been useful but you may not have seen some things because the light wasn't bright enough. Does THAT make sense?

Although this probably doesn't affect one bit of the quality of their flashlights, one thing I have noticed about a few of my Coast flashlights is that they do a pretty good job with the boxing for the flashlights. The boxes are typically black and when you open them up to see the flashlight inside they are a red interior. I don't know. The box inside and out just looks pretty cool.

So, this really isn't a huge, in-depth review of the Coast HP17 13" LED Flashlight but so far it's been a good flashlight for the price. Can I recommend it for the MSRP of like $70 or more? Probably not. I wouldn't buy any flashlight for that price unless I could see shit at least a mile away with near absolute clarity. Yeah, that's asking a lot but that's me and my purchasing standards! Can you go wrong with this flashlight (especially at half off)? Probably not. It does exactly what it says although I have no way of knowing if the lumens are exact. It's a flashlight with high and low and a finger-sliding focus. It does that so where can the complaint be at this time?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Man of Tai Chi (2013)

Man of Tai Chi (2013). So this movie apparently didn't get very good reviews. I can understand why. I wouldn't say it is a horrible movie. Although I don't know if this had any kind of theater release (aka not straight to DVD), I could see going to the dollar movie to see it. Or since it's now avaible via Redbox, maybe renting it from there for $1.20. However, if you already have Netflix, it's also available there but it would be a minimal charge since you already pay a flat fee for video streaming.

The movie was very Matrix-like for me. First off, Keanu Reeves looks almost the exact same as his character, Neo. He "acts" the same. Wears very similar clothes minus the sunglasses. Fights the same. However, he's the bad guy in this movie. He just wants to put on the best damn fight club he can but add in the world wide web and he can make millions off the fights.

The main character, "Tiger" Chen Lin-Hu (played by Tiger Chen is a pretty cool fighter. He's crafty, skilled and he only wants to make his teacher proud by showing how Tai Chi can be used for fighting even though his teach does not like fighting. Isn't this the typical premise of any martial arts movie? Learn a martial art, become a phenomenal master at the art, can't prove how awesome you are at it because it's not in the code, breaks the code, loses way, finds way, brings honor to their teacher (and sometimes self).

So, based on the two paragraphs above, you might be able to assess that this is basically Kickboxer, No Retreat, No Surrender, The Chinese Connection, or The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury).

Just like all the movies I watch, there are criticisms that bother me. Stuff like "that wouldn't happen" or "why not just do [whatever] instead of [whatever]." You know shit like that. Again, I know it's a movie but it doesn't mean the shit don't need to be a little more believable in the sense of how things happen.

I'm very surprised that with Keanu as the director that a little more wasn't put in to the quality of the movie. I guess maybe the budget wasn't big enough for it. Looking here, it seems there is an estimated budge of $25M which is pretty low for "good" movie standards these days but it's also interesting to note that the opening weekend only grossed around $61K. This website show the worldwide gross to date (I guess) is only $5.2M. Slightly off topic—it makes you wonder why Hollywood would even begin to blame piracy when they put out not-so-good quality movies such as this.

That being said. If you had some time to blow, this movie wouldn't be a bad one to watch. I just wouldn't go out of your way or pay too much, greater than $2, to see it.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Genghis Grill "rewards"

I'm a Khan Klub member with Genghis Grill. As such, I get email deals sent to me. Sometimes they're not very good deals. Sometimes they are good deals. Most of the time they are just okay deals.

To me, as a business if you create a "fan club" for people to join, it should provide its members with mostly good or very good deals. These members obviously use your business and were willing to join your email fan club for perks. It would be courteous for the business to reciprocate the customer's gesture.

I'm not saying EVERY deal has to be BOGO or something like that but 8 out of 10 deals emailed to me from the Khan Klub are a waste of digital space and a thankless poke in the eye from Genghis.

I've used a few of the Khan Klub deals that I thought were good. One was a BOGO bowl with the purchase of two drinks. Now, if I didn't always get a drink, this wouldn't be that good of a deal. A dinner bowl is like $9.99. A drink is $1.89 x 2. So, the deal would cost roughly $13.80 before tax and small tip. Which is like $10.00 off. That's not too shabby. I've also used another deal that was two bowls, two drinks, and a dessert for $19.99 So, technically that's getting the two drinks and dessert for free.

Today's deal wasn't too bad but I've had better (like the ones I've described). Deal of today was BOGO small bowl with purchase of two drinks. A small dinner bowl is like $7.99. So, I just saved around $8.00 but that's better than spending $8.00. The small bowl is noticeably smaller than the regular bowl but it's not like I couldn't pile that shit in the small bowl like I do the regular!

In conclusion, it doesn't cost anything to sign up for the Khan Klub. The deals usually have to be used by a certain time...typically anywhere form 3-5 days after I received the email. You also get some kind of points every time you dine there as long as you have your Khan's card or your Klub member number. I usually forget to have my card and there's no way I'll memorize my member number but now I have it in my wallet. I'll probably not go again since I have it in my wallet. :-)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Email deals from TigerDirect

I am on the email listserv for TigerDirect. The above image is from their latest email blast. I can't say that I've ever purchased anything from the TigerDirect sales email. I may have purchased something from TigerDirect.com in the past which is probably why I'm on the email list.

I don't understand why they would put an item in their sale email blast that is ALREADY sold out. What the hell is the point? Are they trying to show that they are that good at deals and the products sell out quickly? I just don't get it.

I'm not a marketing professional and I certainly wasn't a marketing major but I really don't think there is a need or a good reason to place an item in a sales email blast that is not available.

And just so you're sure, the email does not reflect real-time. So if the product sold out after the email was sent, it would not have reflected the sell out.

Anyway, just thought I'd say something about the stupidity!