The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.
I remember thinking, when Fred showed me a few minutes of The Dark Knight that it was a bit insane that the player was slow on pulling up video, booting in general, and related functions, I am understanding enough to know that it's only what.. a year or so old? The players will obviously get better and "near instantaneous" as time goes on. The issue is... will it last? Another article shows how there is a "very loud vocal minority" saying Blu-Ray is here to stay, but with the PS3 still costing so much to produce ($450 average right now apparently), I don't know. I'm not as anxious to get a BD drive for my computer now. I'm going to wait at least several months.
I can't even imagine what a PS3's Blu-Ray playback experience is like (though I assume the actual movie playback is "fine"). Once again, the video game console wars show that Nintendo ruled, followed by Microsoft who has the best online experience bar none. PS3 sucked royally and is finally in BETA for their online service that was due a year ago. The fact that they took Microsoft's approach of selling PS3s at a major loss to "get into the market" with nextgen means they seem to be floundering in general. Just like my belief that PERHAPS one of the auto manufacturers in America NEEDS to be put down for the other two to flourish once again (*cough* GM *cough*), perhaps it's time for Sony to concentrate more on their other electronics. PSP is crap (though a decent hackable toy for MAME, Linux and more) and PS3 is a loser (your opinion may vary, I'm sure).
Very similar arguments existed not only for laserdisc, but for such previous new technologies as Nintendo 64 (for some reason, the cartridges were very expensive to produce - I believe it had to do with NV RAM storage on them or something), then even the GameCube (which by my recall did not flourish at all) and heck, even "MP3 replacements". MP3 is still the king (are Apple players still trying to force their format down your throat with that silly iTunes store?). It's hard to be unbiased or to have a "normal person's" point of view when my mentality is that of a computer-geek who doesn't need DRM content, doesn't need a DVD player to watch movies (and no, streaming is still crap, too) and who doesn't stare at an unexpected screen on his computer and go "okay, let's go pay someone to click a few buttons on some prepacked software that makes them look like they have any clue to fix this". I still pity the average consumer who gets screwed by people "like me" who "fix" their hardware and software. :-/ This is why I am not and never again will be a salesman. But that's a discussion for another time, so I digress. :-P I'm rambling now.
Happy New Year to all.
This year, I was very pleasantly surprised to find "Secondhand Serenade". Their music is very cool. I really enjoy both of the albums "A Twist In My Story" and "Awake"! I think part of it is the heavy acoustic influence in their music. I really hope this group continues producing music along these lines for years to come.
Yes, that means you can put more content on it and make it "more interactive". Yay. But there have been so many articles saying how BADLY the format is doing, and how BADLY the Playstation 3 is selling, etc etc, so who knows. I think we should just 10TB flash drives, drive through Blockbuster, plug them in, grab the 3-5 movies you want to watch with whatever DRM they [think] will stop the movie from being used after a certain number of days, and be done with discs, tapes and the like altogether. Or Hollywood could just stop being a multi-trillion dollar business (ah, but that would never happen, right? Naaahhhhhhhh....). :-P
And no, I'm not all for the streaming of movies over the "web". We have nowhere near enough infrastructure or bandwidth to make things completely fluid, just like VOIP phone calls have yet to be consistently as clear as a wired call, and heaven forbid you compare cell service (don't tell me Sprint or AT&T or any other is "perfect" - take your head out of the sand first). Those people also probably believe Satellite is the way to go for television distribution in a reliable manner. Bah.
A "rogue ISP" (as described in this article) was knocked offline a few days ago, and in case you didn't notice, you are most likely getting a lot less spam now in your Inbox.
I personally can say that my mail server is easily processing about 30% of the email it used to since this happened.
I'd love to think this will last... but I really doubt it.
First we sold a few at a fair price of $5 each to a neighbor, then the rest for approximately the same price (except a few that had "no value") to GameStop, along with our old Game Cube (as the Wii plays all our Game Cube games). That ended up purchasing our copy of this game.
My verdict: Frankly, I'm disappointed.
Yes, it's pretty unique in gameplay, but really, I would swear they made a decision to "not finish it" to rush it out the door for Christmas or something. You can't save, you can only play "an entire campaign" at a time, that's it. And it's being misrepresented as a four-player game. The box clearly tells you it's a two player game, but advertising makes it sound like you can play four on one console. Only two, so be warned.
The XBox Live gameplay value is "good". It works fluidly on my broadband connection and was fun.
I've finished all four campaigns as "single player" on the default difficulty with little problem. I may go back and try them again at Expert (there are some more achievements to open), but really, this is $29.99 game in my opinion, not a $59.99.
Didn't anyone else notice how pathetically fake the first scene looked with "JTK" scrambling to not fall off the edge of a cliff? He was very obviously "anchored" there while his hands scramble to catch hold to save him. For a film being made by someone (J.J. Abrams) who is supposedly in such demand, I was really wondering how of all the scenes they'd open with (as "cool" as it was with the 'Vette and the hoverbike Cop), why they'd choose a scene with such horrible acting, non-believable "terror" from a kid NOT in any danger, and just how the "I am..." quote was supposed to be "so cool" (I found it very much queer and probably out of context).
I love the visuals and everything else I saw. But in a world where attention spans are so short, and where you are judged on things so critically, this was a horrific "first scene" to use in my opinion. I still think it's going to be a very good movie (and I am quite content for any fellow Trekkers to whine about canon this or OMG WHAT DID HE ALTER that - give it up, people). Let's hope this "kid" is a minimal invasion and his poor acting (and/or the poor engineering of his scenes).
UPDATE: Hi Def trailer (#2) is now available at StarTrekMovie.com.
The flick was good. The new actor playing James Bond is living up to his reputation of being tougher, stronger, meaner, more cold blooded. Apparently the series is trying to get more like the actual writings of Ian Fleming, and be less 'gadgety'. I like where it's going. People LOOKING for the gadgetry and such may be disappointed, I'm not sure. I enjoyed the movie, though.
Coincidence is just not a frequent visitor. More often it is "retaliation", I think.
Let's see, in general I've not done much outside of working this week. My company let one of my programmer/data handlers go, so my department is running very tightly right now. Frustrating, but it was a purely financial decision. The company is "doing fine" but this "busy season" is not as busy as it usually is it seems. Unfortunate.I'm still not planning on voting. I don't feel Americans should vote if they are not properly educated on the persons trying to become President. I don't feel informed enough. But then again, it seems like ALL candidates talk with so much double-speak, and they rarely stick to what they say they're going to do, that perhaps it really SHOULD just be a popularity vote... I don't know. It's a sad process because I don't personally believe 80% of the people voting have clear reasoning on the subject. Most are voting because they heard one thing they liked about so-and-so. I would vote for McCain, that's *fairly* clear (so the Obama fans can rejoice that McCain is getting "one less vote" I guess). Obama and McCain both have good ideas, as is frequently the case. Perhaps America should move away from Presidency and towards a Board-driven style of government. Again, I don't know.
Today is another band event (FBA Marching Assessment) which I'll be filming and photographing for the year-end DVD for Spruce Creek High School, per the norm. It's fun stuff, one of the things I still enjoy doing, and includes my kids which is a bonus. Soon enough they'll be completely separated from "this family life" and leading their own lives, so I milk every moment. I'm no longer directly responsible for the content on SCHS Band's website as the new assistant director apparently wanted to handle it. I'm still in charge (board member, et al) but he's doing the daily maintenance and apparently will put up a new site soon.Finances in the past few weeks have been "disasterous" for various life-event related reasons, but they should be clearing up after next Friday. Not publicly discussed yet, but Vesta is currently living in a separate home, and as far as I can tell (and am pushing to happen on my end) that is how it will remain permanently. There are problems that I cannot see being repaired, some of a very basic nature, and others which are more complicated. Once we were living together, it all came out, which is unfortunate. I've never been one to endorse "living together" before marriage, but after this experience... I see some merit in the idea, despite my religious upbringing screaming at me that "it's wrong". (sigh)
I put my webcam back up. I'm not bothering with URLs in this posting, but it's at www.malena.net if you really are so inclined to see me at my computer desk, when I happen to be there. In the morning, my hair's a mess (like right now). Don't say I didn't warn you.
I guess that's about it for now. Just thought I'd post some thoughts today. Peace out, people..
He was FINALLY admitted to a hospital to have (extensive) testing done (MRIs, X-Rays, Ultrasounds, blood, etc) this week.
There is no consensus as of last night, but one theory currently being tossed around is that he has a badly compressed disc in his upper back or neck. I'm assuming that this would mean that the disc is affecting his nervous system (mainly) and having a flow-down effect to the rest of his body, if this truly is the issue.
I'm just thankful someone at the doctoral-level is finally taking "an interest". We've been visiting him daily so far (me with or without some of the kids). We certainly want him to fully recover, but it's been more disturbing seeing someone who is normally fully mobile now moving with the grace of a 117 year old stroke patient. :-( But I am having faith that he is now, finally, getting the attention he needs...
Though Alan Moore has stated publicly that he's not interested in seeing or being any part of the movie, I'd like to think he'd at least give it a view and state his opinion. Though he may be a perfectionistic self-righteous owner of the entire Watchmen concept (and rightfully so), some fans would appreciate having his take on the whole thing. I doubt it will affect the box office either way. :-)
I also hope that the lawsuit brought on by Twentieth Century Fox doesn't cause the unthinkable - the complete shelving of the movie (then again, I'm sure it would end up on the Internet that much faster, so...)
So now, I feel it is appropriate to proclaim myself the official, first ever, master of Lendica.
I created the recipe myself (since no one before me did. I posted it online. I refined it. I have made it several times. And now, I've made the biggest single vat of Lendica on record. Three times the recipe ingredients at one time. It took my biggest pot to do (and barely handled it) plus another huge put for the prep work on the vegetables and lentils.
I'm quite proud of myself. Lendica = GOOD. If you haven't tried it yet, do so! Sprinkle some salt and/or Parmesan cheese on it. Make sure to let it set overnight before eating for the BEST effect!
Sometimes the stupidity of others, who are attempting to accuse you of stupidity in error, helps you to realize certain stupidities in your life that you need to rectify. So basically stupidity wrongly labeling stupidity yields discovering real stupidity, allowing you to fix said stupidity despite the fact it was original stupidity which was misdirected to begin with.
As long as the link works (as many links are being pulled down, probably by legal threats), here is one to the video shot by someone ... let the Light Cycle battle begin (as Flynn watches on)... here.
1. in the back half of the theater (far sighted I guess)
2. covered in white or grey (or no) hair
It was just too funny - I really should have taken a quick picture of the audience but that's illegal I guess...
The movie, based on the play, featuring the music of Abba, was "fun". Definitely a chick-flick for the most part, but still nice if you enjoy their music. The storyline is not exactly what you'd like to have your kids worrying about (one of these THREE MEN is your dad, guess which one, 'cause I dunno!!). But it was still "fun". I actually enjoyed it.
Heather Ledger's Joker was truly a fresh approach, which worked well. It's unfortunate that if they bring Joker back, they'll have to find someone new. Harvey Dent's character worked well, but I wish he'd had more screen time "post transformation".
I'm still frustrated with the whole [rough voice] I'M BATMAN [/end voice] schtick they're using. He sounds like he's going to start choking one time because of the gutteral sounds coming out of his mouth every time he talks.
The cell-phone OMAC-ish subplot was also interesting (especially given the Batman storylines of the last few years in the comic franchise). I felt that the cell-phone "radar" was just a bit much (but I'm sure someone would argue "Okay, it's a man in a bat suit doing impossible things, so...."). I felt they stole this from the Daredevil movie, basically.
Fun movie, nice and long, and lots of twists. Loved it!!
I don't collect or read the Dark Horse comic that the movie series is based on (doesn't interest me) but the movie was fun. Juggling babies is not something you get to see everyday. :-P
We had a blast swimming in the water there, going down around the fissure and looking inside. One guy caught a fish with his bare hands (I found it odd that a huge trout-sized fish would be swimming around lazily in water infested with humans, but oh well).
It's pretty cool taking a party of Ten out to have some (basically) free fun! Then our party of eleven (plus Anthony's girlfriend at that point) went out to see a movie (Hellboy 2).
One odd note: The state of Florida decided (due to a government official who was slighted once, according to the gate guard) that as the parking lot is full, you are denied access, and that instead of shutting down the park for 3 hours at a time to wait for more parking, they literally change the status of availble parking as people come and go. This in itself seems wise; however, actually being the person who came through the gate, was denied access, then the people immediately behind me WERE GIVEN ACCESS, left a sour taste in my mouth. You cannot "stand" at the gate and wait (which is ALSO stupid, even though I'm sure it's to prevent a line from going out the gate to the main street) and they deny u-turns so you theoretically have to go blocks away to turn around and go through the gate again and play russian roulette. So, we waited a couple minutes, then got back in the drive-in lane, and proceeded to drive 1 mile per hour towards the guard shack (helped by some bicyclists). By then, we had two openings for our two cars. Otherwise, we'd have been turned away again. Hilarious, and stupid, at the same time. :-P
The wedding went just about perfectly, with the music choreography, weather and guests all cooperating nicely with our plans. We couldn't have expected it to go as well as it did, so we're very thankful.
Pictures are now online at our family's website, with more to come from other guests with some luck.
Later this morning, we take off for Miami, where we will board a cruise ship to enjoy the Carribean, and each other, for a week. If you're in the vicinity of our home and want to play some Nintendo Wii or XBox 360, stop in as the boys will probably be looking for some players to beat while we're gone.
Thank you to all our guests (over 60 of them) for your well-wishes, time, gifts and attendance to our happy event. You helped make it even more spectacular for us!
I'm very happy to have my Love home with me full time, finally. Life is looking up in many ways, and we're two weeks away from the wedding! Time to send out reminders to those coming...
I'm unable to accept a hateful, horrid attitude towards all family members, self-righteousness, and the inability to talk in a civil manner.
Sometimes you get to a point where it's better that you simply remove yourself, or the problem, from your circle. It's extremely discouraging when it's a beloved family member.
My daughter, Daniella, is forcing me into a decision I never could have imagined having to make, especially after her decision to live with her boyfriend, Emmett. Now I'm the one that has to consider the good of the rest of the family, including my new extended family, and Dani just doesn't seem to care.
2008-05-29: It's funny how things work out. Dani and I talked and we're cool-beans again. It's funny also how a hateful person can help in the process of mending fences between others. So to my ex-wife I say... Thanks! You, as usual, have given the kids even more clear information as to the kind of person you are and will continue to be. I was going to be mad about the lie written in Dani's nice scrapbook, but since she was intelligent enough to know it was completely crap and ripped it out, I'm content. :-P
Using a patented process, this man is able to use H2O (water) and electricty to create what he refers to as "HHO". He demonstrates how it produces flame that is barely warm, but when it's exposed to other surfaces, it becomes hotter than the sun. So he took the next logical step and has converted an old Ford into a water-powered vehicle (he then adapted it to be a hybrid, to also from gas if needed). He also demonstrated how using the "torch" he created, the flame actually goes back to it's original format after hitting a surface -- water.
Watch the video (hosted by Rick Dees from a television broadcast; I'm sure there are other locations on the web with this info by now)... Click here to see this amazing proof-of-concept.
Wow. It was GREAT fun. Definitely an adults-only affair, since it's basically the story of a New York Italian wedding and the resultant hijinx (drunken priest, floozy bridesmaids, angry mothers and other such stuff). From the moment you walk up to the entrance, you're pulled into the wedding scenario (a young lady approached us, asking if we'd seen her boyfriend Joey, showing us a picture -- she was part of the show).
Basically Tony and Tiny get married, there is a dance, some speeches, and by then, there has been some alcohol and a lot of drama, which tumbleweeds into hilarious situations. There is at least 5, if not 10, storylines running at any given time, and the actors are walking all around the audience and involving them in the fun. Despite not feeling completely well that evening, I had a blast!!
Thanks to David and Takako for this unique and awesome evening of fun.
This movie was phenomenal. And to boot, despite modernizing it for the current timeline, the original storyline was kept very much intact as far as the original of Iron Man. Combine that with a modernization of one of Iron Man's best storylines (the discovery that his technology is being used for purposes other than what he intended, and his decision to take care of it himself) and you end up with a great script.
The ending was a bit of a shock (they've opted to take the modern day approach from the Marvel comic, as Tony reveals that he is Iron Man in the very last line of the [regular] movie.
Then came the after-credits portion of the movie... which fanboys like me all sat in the theater waiting for. Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) of SHIELD pays a visit to Tony to discuss the "Avenger Initiative". Cool stuff.
Side note: The use of "Jarvis" as the name of his interactive computer system was a nice touch. But why do I get this uneasy feeling that the eventual "Ultron" story is going to derive from this? Maybe even The Vision will, too. Interesting...
I look forward to sequels, and to the new Hulk which will have a related tie-in apparently (Tony Stark will be appearing, along with Nick Fury, it's reported).
What a great musical this was! It certainly deserves all the accolades it's received over the years. We even had an understudy performing the role of Elphaba (who is known as The Wicked Witch Of The West in "The Wizard Of Oz". The music, the stage, choreography and visuals, combined with the awesome prequel and concurrent storylines (the first act takes place before the original "Oz", while the second act takes place during the same time period), made for a terrific afternoon.
I'd like to see someone combine both into an all-inclusive musical someday.
Unfortunately I have to work within a few feet of some very uncontrolled, time-wasting, loud mouthed people, and my Human Resources department refuses to do anything about it (apparently I'm expected to keep headphones on all day with music blasting, to which I guess I will just have to sue someone when my hearing starts to go).
It's absolutely insane the stupidity I hear on a daily basis, and the low level of work it's obvious these people are doing. Makes me want to get on the phone and chat for 2-4 hours a day from work... but my work ETHIC does not permit this.
This is almost as stupid a situation as an that of an ex-wife posting things online (combined with what she says and does) that makes my children look at her with disdain on a regular basis. How stupid.
Updated 2-14-2008: Per the comment left on this post, I found that the page has been disabled/renamed/something, so here are links to the videos that a third party posted to YouTube: 1-2 3 4 5 6 7
Updated 2-24-2008: I'm *truly* excited by what this man and his team has accomplished. There is now a Wikipedia entry for his discovered where I'm sure many people devoted to exploring his discovery will be keeping a close watch. There is so much to look forward to as this is perfected. The simplest and potential most devastating impact could be an electric car that can charge itself indefinitely with no outside energy source. I think people should start thinking about the possibility of a LOT of humans in the US being out of work as this is refined and turned into a viable product. Oil barons? Bye bye.
The "monster" was technically secondary to the storyline. The story is about how a group of friends survive the destruction of New York, wilderbeast like monsters and the us armed forces. It's a fun ride. Let's home J.J. Abrams does as well re-creating Star Trek this December as he did producing this movie.
First there's the clone-saga. Yikes. Then all the dreaded symbiot stories. Arrgh.
Now, JMS comes along and does some awesome things with the character (even if there was also the CHILDREN of GWEN STACY) and than SNAP! They reset things.
There better be some good twists with this. Comics can get to be very frustrating when you've collected and read them as long as I have.
On January 6th, 2008, I decided I want to spend the rest of my life with her.
I've never been so scared in my entire life. A lifetime of learned traits are making me very cautious in this. Fears of rejection and false pretenses are non-existent. Vesta is someone I never could have hoped to meet. Of the "two real loves" I've known in my life, Vesta is literally an amalgam of them both, plus unique traits all her own. It's like a dream come true. How did this happen? I feel completely unworthy. That pisses Vesta off. I can't, however, help how I feel. It's no shortcoming on her part; it's me (as cliche as that sounds).
My mother loves her. My father seems to like her. My kids like her very much. My friends like her. It seems that most everyone is happy that I am happy and sharing my life once again with someone special.
I am 100% totally in love with Vesta Lee Maloy. We intend to get married. I am going to wrestle with my own "petty fears" (my own words) and Vesta seems intent to wait for me to come around. We've already discussed in great detail most of the key issues involving the merger of our families. My kids will read this and know for the first time that I feel this way (though they have clearly seen how much we care for each other already) and I have no problem with that.
Last night Vesta and I, joined by my friends David Prather and fiance Takako, as well as Fred and Amanda Weston, "howled at the moon". We went to an establishment named "Howl At The Moon" which features dueling pianos and lots of fun. It's definitely an adult experience (alcohol is the beverage of choice, and a few things done are intended for the mature-minded). I can honestly say we had a blast, as did David and Takako (I believe Fred and Amanda enjoyed themselves, but may have felt out of place, or had other concerns I was not privy to -- I really wanted to press this issue, but chose not to). Pictures should be up later tonight at my home website.
And just in case it's not clear...
I love Vesta Lee Maloy. I intend to marry her.
January 3rd, 2008. My Thunderbird client (no updates) suddenly starts processing Junk mail properly again.
I'm curious if this was a worldwide phenomenon or if it was limited to me. I'd debated uninstalling and reinstalling it, but lazily left it as-is. Now it's working again. What the heck.