Entertainment Quantified

May 23, 2008 - Gadgets

Zune Software V2.5

A lot has already been written on the web about the 2.x version of the Zune software. Most of it is negative, mostly I haven’t had a negative experience with the software, but I didn’t use the 1.x software for very long before v2 came out. Recently an update was released bringing some changes that a lot of people should be happy with. For me though the change that I was pleasantly surprised to find is that when you subscribe to a podcast and play an episode, as soon as that episode finishes the Zune will start the next episode in the series.

May 20, 2008 - Books

Ubik is Coming Soon

Philip K. Dick is undeniably my favorite Sci-Fi author. His stories have been turned into such great movies as Total Recall, Blade Runner, and Paycheck among others. One of my least favorite books of his is about to be made into a movie. This book is called Ubik. Ubik is one of those stories that I consider to be daydream Sci-Fi. It begins in a really cool setting and then just starts going out of control.

Apr 19, 2008 - Film

Donny Darko

Out of nowhere a movie started popping up. There was a director’s cut and a lot of people I know were telling me how great it was. That movie was Donnie Darko. I had it on my Netflix queue for a while, but I never bumped it to the top. As a result I deleted it one day when I was cleaning up my queue. This morning I was in bed trying to get my daughter to sleep when I noticed that it was playing on the Sundance channel.

Jul 31, 2007 - Food

Peet's vs. Starbucks

I prefer Peet’s Coffee to Starbucks. I usually end up buying at least one cup of coffee a day at Starbucks because of how close it is to where I work. Peet’s would be too much of a drive. Starbucks raised the price of coffee today. For a small cup of coffee it is now $1.55. This was particularly embarrassing for me today because I walked in to Starbucks with only 6 quarters in my pocket.

Jul 6, 2007 - Film

High Definition and Director's Intent

DJ and I just had a brief discussion about the visual quality of movies that have been transferred to HD-DVD. Specifically he was asking about movies that were filmed in 16mm that have a lot of film grain. He said he read some reviews that pointed out how poor these movies looked when re-mastered for HD-DVD. My opinion on the matter is that many of the reviewers that I’ve read online do not take into account what was the director’s intent (or cinematographer’s intent, or director or photography, but I’m just going to jumble them all into the director category because it’s one word).

Jun 29, 2007 - Gadgets

My DirecTV HD HR-20 Upgrade Experience

Ah, the power of blogging… now if only I had an audience. So Leanne and I recently got a new TV for our living room. This was after giving my old Sony WEGA away as a house warming gift to Dave and Amy. Our new TV displays standard definition TV horribly. This made Leanne agree to let me upgrade our satellite system to high definition. DirecTV requires that you get a new dish when you upgrade to their HR-20 HD DVR.

Jun 4, 2007 - Gadgets

Kohler Wants You to Flush Stuff

Jo wants to meet your friends There’s this web site that Kohler put up to demonstrate the power of their new toilet. All you need to do is click on the link above and wait for the flash to download. Then because you are probably running IE (90% of all people on the web can’t be wrong) you need to click on it to activate. Then wait a little longer for all the Flash components to download and then you are ready to start flushing things.

Jun 2, 2007 - boredom

What Does Happen When You Put Dish Soap in the Dishwasher

A few days ago I told Leanne that I just remembered her telling me we were out of dishwasher powder. I said that I was just going to use some standard dish soap. “NO! Don’t do that! There will be suds everywhere if you do that!” Oh, yeah, I didn’t think of that. Boy I’m sure glad I said something to her and she stopped me. Now, Leanne is in Peru, and I decided not to go to the A’s game.

May 21, 2007 - Film

Shrek the Third

What happened to the movie going experience? There was a time when I worked for Lucas Films THX and I would go to movies on opening night and report back on the experience at the theater. That means I would look at everything from the amount of popcorn on the floor to if there were enough paper towels in the bathroom. The reason for this is that it is all part of the movie going experience.

May 16, 2007 - Fun TV

Lost - Would you be upset if Charlie dies?

I was watching the preview for Lost again today and I had to stop and ask myself the question: Would I really be upset if Charlie dies? I asked that question because Desmond, once again, has a premonition that Charlie will die and says in the preview, “you’re going to die Charlie and this time I can’t stop it.” To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll miss Charlie. The first reason I’m not sure I’ll miss Charlie is that he’s a reformed drug addict.

May 14, 2007 - General

New Postal Rates

Today the cost of mailing a first-class letter is going up to $0.41. The USPS is also introducing a Forever stamp that will allow you to use this stamp even if the cost of stamps increase. Buy them for $0.41 each now and if next year they raise the price to $0.50 you can still use it without the need for $0.09 extra postage. Cool huh?

May 13, 2007 - Film

Changes to Ratings - Smoking Kills

The MPAA added a new criteria that it will look for when rating a movie. They will now look at the amount of smoking in the movie as an indicator to the rating they give it. More information here. My question/request is this: To all the people responsible for movie and TV ratings, why can’t you enforce the use of seatbelts in movies and television? I know that the smoking thing is in an attempt to curb smoking in youngsters, but what good is a bad guy without an evil cigarette or cigar?

May 12, 2007 - Film

The World's Fastest Indian

Ah, back to what I know best, reviewing movies. This morning Leanne and I watched a true story about a 67 year old man from New Zealand named Burt Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins. The World’s Fastest Indian follows our hero from New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where Burt is attempting to find his way into the record books with the fastest motorcycle 1000cc’s or smaller.

May 10, 2007 - Fun TV

Lost 3.20

Before we begin, this includes spoilers. Don’t read if you haven’t seen the 9 May Episode of Lost. Is John Locke dead? I think it’s too convenient that Ben just left him in that pit to die. Possibly Jacob would come along and save him. What was with the “Help Me” that John heard? It certainly sounded like Ben, but then all hell broke lose in the cabin and flashing frame by frame clearly shows this man sitting in a chair:

May 5, 2007 - Food

I think my hangover has a hangover

Think about this. If you left your company right now, would you still be going to their parties 7 years from now? I’m guessing that you probably would not. 7 years ago I left a company called Latitude Communications. Since that time they’ve been acquired by Cisco and many of the people that I knew from the company have moved on from job to job. Yet we still have Latitude parties.

Apr 30, 2007 - Food

Delmonico's Steak House

I’m in Las Vegas right now for the Mix07 Web Conference. Tonight I finally got the chance to have dinner at Delmonico’s thanks to Mark’s Stacy’s Sister. ;-) I had a Filet Mignon cooked medium with green beans. The filet was really good. In fact the only way it could have been better is if I’d cooked it myself. Rather than just season it with only salt and pepper, as I do, the chef used what looked like thyme and rosemary.

Apr 25, 2007 - Programming

Hey, Hey, Hey! What do you know?

Greetings and salutations everyone! It has been a long time since I’ve written anything in this blog. For the most part that is because I’ve been working on it. I know you don’t believe me, and that usually what most people say when they are just too lazy to write in their blog. The truth is that what you are seeing is the 5th version of this site that I wrote in the past 2 years.

Oct 12, 2005 - Programming

It was only a matter of time

The former cyber security advisor stated today that developers should be held accountable for security flaws in their code. It was only a matter of time before this would happen. I foresee in the next 5 years that I will have to start paying for malpractice insurance to cover the lawsuits if I get sued for bad code. It’s a good thing though. Programmers should be held responsible for bad code, but the statute of limitations should be small like 2 years.

Oct 12, 2005 - Gadgets

Where was Microsoft?

Apple today unveiled the video iPod. With its 2.5 inch screen you can watch music videos for $1.99 each or you can download TV programs from last night. I can do this today with my Creative Zen Personal Media Center, but the PMC is a brick. It looks like a brick, it feels like a brick. It is nothing like the video iPod. Also, over the past year I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to get access to the MSN Music site.

Jul 20, 2005 - Fun Games

I have an Xbox, now I need Halo2

Bungie will remove anyone playing HALO2 using a modded Xbox after a small update to the game today. This is in response to the tremendous amount of cheating that’s been going on. In addition to the removal, the user will be banned from playing forever, and their stats will be removed from the leader board. I assume there’s been a bit of outcry about this, but I personally have to respect a company that includes this in the FAQ:

Jun 22, 2005 - Gadgets

Creative Zen Portable Media Center

I’ve had my Creative Zen PMC for about 9 months now and I use it every single day. I would like something smaller, but the size really doesn’t matter since all it does is sit on my desk. I never carry it around aside from taking it home in the evenings, but it’s convenient to have all of my music with me at work. About a month ago the inline remote stopped working as did the main speaker.

Jun 13, 2005 - Site

It's Been a Long Time...

Most of what you see on this web site has been changed. I know it doesn’t look like anything has been changed, but trust me it has. Most of the changes are not all that sexy. You see I have changed the layout from tables layout to a CSS layout. I’m close, but not 100% XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2.1 compliant. Actually, I think the CSS will pass the compliance tests, but without valid XHTML it’s a little bit of a waste.

Jan 13, 2005 - Fun TV

Law & Order - The Bad Ending...

Elisabeth Rohm plays Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn on NBC’s Law & Order. Tonight’s episode was her last on the show. Over the past year her character has had a few ethical arguments with D.A. Arthur Branch (played by Fred Thompson) and A.D.A. Jack McCoy (played by Sam Waterston). These arguments have been getting more obvious with each passing week, but they were never blatantly obvious. Tonight though, D.A. Branch fired Serena because she was letting her emotions water down the evidence against a defendant.

Dec 13, 2004 - Gadgets

TiVo is not a Noun or a Verb

According to a story you are no longer allowed to say “Oh I Tivo’d it last night.” You are also not allowed to say “TiVo is the greatest invention of all time.” According to TiVo you are supposed to say “Oh I utilized my TiVo DVR to record that program for later viewing.” or “TiVo DVR is a wonderful appliance.” Yeah, I’m going to follow that about as much as I follow Google’s guidelines on using their name.