can’t always get what you want…

Tonight’s superbowl was just that. You can either have a superbowl that has a great game and lame commercials, or you can have a game that’s a blowout with really great commercials.
For awhile, the best thing about the superbowl was the commercials because the game was usually over by the end of the first half. The last couple of years have had great games, but the commercials had lost something.
But, this year, because of the infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” the screeners for the commercials have been extra strict. I think the edgiest commercial this year was the one for that parodied the “wardrobe malfunction.” I read online that the godaddy commercial had to go through several iterations before it got by the board. Yet, strangely, they still slipped in at least one commercial for Cialis.
I’d much rather see the rude crude beer commercials than anything advertising a fix for erectile dysfunction.
It’s just sad that since last year the networks have become incredibly paranoid about offending anyone about anything. But, then, it kinda reflects on the society we live in today.
Continue reading “can’t always get what you want…”

What’s Up with the Thimbles?

I caught part of the State of the Union address tonight.
I usually watch them just because it’s usually interesting to hear what the President has to say. Plus, the networks usually catch one or more senators snoozing during the speech. Or, this year, there were two-three idiots who clapped when Bush was describing the very real and very scary news about when Social Security would be bankrupt.
Ok, they’ve been saying it for years, but I haven’t seen dates assigned to the social security thing before tonight. By the time I am old enough to retire, at the rate it’s going, there won’t be any Social Security. Period. And if you’re younger than I am, you’re prettymuch equally fucked.
Anyway, it’s been more fun to watch since Bush has been in office because this is a very public presentation and the Democrats have to suck up to him on TV.
What I’m curious about is why some of them had thimbles on their index fingers and were waving them at Bush. I’m assuming there’s some historical context to it, and that it was a favorable gesture.
I didn’t see all of it, but from what I did see Bush is definitely keeping himself busy for the next four years.
UPDATE: After reading an article on CNN this morning, I learned that they did not have thimbles on their fingers, but they had dipped their fingers in blue ink. Apparently, the iraqis used this last weekend as a way to prevent people from voting more than once in the elections.
Rumor has it that John Kerry had all ten of his fingers dipped in ink to show how many times he personally voted in the Iraq elections. However, he was unable to get his name on the ballot in time, where he had hoped to unleash his “I’m not Saddam” campaign. Instead, he has decided that he will try to run for prime minister of France, where he hopes his “I’m not French” campaign will capitalize on the French hatred of everything, including themselves.

think “different”…

garden_state.jpg Every once in a while, I like to catch a movie that isn’t the same ol’ same ol’. Something that’s a bit different from an action flick or comedy. Recently, I’ve come across a couple of movies that fit that description. The first, Garden State, is about an out of work actor who is forced to return home after ten years for his mom’s funeral. While there, he has to face his past, deal with his dysfunctional family, and meets someone in the course of a few days. After spending the majority of his life on medication and being “numb” to everything, he learns how to feel again and that life isn’t so bad after all. This movie starred Zach Braff, who also wrote and directed it. It’s more of a drama with comedic bits than a comedy with dramatic bits.
The movie is apparently popular at Blockbuster’s online dvd service, because I had to go through two copies before I got one that I could watch entirely.
It seems like a typical ‘coming of age’ flick, but just as you start to think that, something happens that throws you completely off. All of the characters have their quirks, and I think it’s the quirkiness that keeps you watching. I really liked Natalie Portman’s character; it’s good to see her in something other than another Star Wars flick.
eternal_sunshine.jpg Like Garden State, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is another very unusual film. In this one, Jim Carrey plays a man who wants to erase all memory of his ex-girlfriend after learning she has recently erased him. Fortunately, in this movie, there’s a doctor who can do just that. While undergoing the procedure, he watches the memories of his relationship playing back in his mind as they are being erased. About halfway through, he changes his mind and doesn’t to lose the memories. The problem is that he is unconscious, so his subconscious begins a journey to try to bury the memory of his girlfriend anywhere in his head where it might be safe.
The movie suggests that love is a bond that we simply can’t get rid of, even if we had the technology to do so. It also suggests that just because you may know the right things to say or do the right things, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get that person to fall for you.
One of the most interesting aspects of the movie to me was how they visually took a very abstract concept and made it work. How do you visually represent memories fading? Well, have you ever had a dream that was really intense that it ‘felt’ real? You remember it vividly when you wake up, but as you go through the day details about the dream start to slip away. By then end of the day, you’ve forgotten almost all of it. Kinda like that. They used a lot of different things to ‘simulate’ that they were a) in a memory and b) what state the memory was in. As the visual fades, so do the images and even sounds.
The movie is a great film to watch. Some people may not ‘get’ it, and that may have to do with the way the story unfolds. I will say it is not a movie you can pick up halfway through – you need to see it from beginning to end. Ok, I really only wanted to see this because Kate Winslet was in it, and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be such an amazing movie.

cool blog app

I am just now getting into using some of the programs that I have downloaded for the iBook. So far, the coolest one I have used has to be MarsEdit.
It’s a nifty little utility program that allows you to compose/edit your blog entries. Then, when you are ready, you can either upload it as a draft or publish it. You can easily find and add images to your blogs as well. I tried that feature out with the mac portable entry. Very cool.
I did have to find an patch a specific php file for WordPress, but it has worked pretty seamlessly after that. Someone probably has something similar available for windows.
This may be the first program I buy for the iBook. : )

The first “portable” macintosh

portable-203.jpgI stumbled across this on the internet the other day, and it brought back memories. This site has a number of stories about old macintosh computers, and I had completely forgotten about the original macintosh portable. It wasn’t much more of a machine than the mac plus I had back in those days, and it weighed in at a ‘mere’ 16.8 lbs. It could be yours for only $5,799.00. *cough*

macplus.jpg In comparison, the G4 iBook I have only weighs 4.6 lbs, with an even bigger screen, and it’s in color. And, I’m not even sure where to measure the cpu comparison, but I imagine the mac plus is something like .000001 percent of the speed of the iBook. The original macs used to only have black and white screens. I don’t mean grayscale. I mean two colors: black and white. Grays were simulated using patterns of black and white dots. But, at the time the macintosh originally came out, it was considered revolutionary. The operating system, even when they eventually moved to color screens, kept most of the original look and feel of the black and white windows.

I am pretty sure I even had this copy of MacUser when it originally came out. The scary part is that this is from 1989. That’s how far technology has advanced in fifteen years.


WoW – catching up is hard to do…

For those of you not in the know, WoW is short for World of Warcraft, one of the newest Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) recently unleashed upon the world.
This cartoon from the guys at penny-arcade prettymuch sums up my experience when it comes to playing these games with friends and family.
Being of Indescribable Power
My experience with these games started way back in 1999 with the original Everquest. Before long, most of my friends and family were hooked as well. The biggest problem I found is that not everyone has equal time to play the game. So, the more casual players get left behind. I’ve seen it happen on every game I’ve played, and I’ve tried most of them.
Why is this a problem? Well, in most of these games, you have to group with other players. A group can consist of up to 5-8 people. Most people prefer to play with people they know. But, the problem is that most of these games restrict what levels you can group with. In Everquest, a level 10 character cannot group with a level 60.
So, you try to play catchup. This can be an exercise in frustration. For example, you have a friend who’s one of those ‘play until you pry the keyboard from my cold dead hands’ types. He’s level 20, you’re level 5. So, he pesters you to play more. If you could just get to 20, the game would be so much better, and you could play together. So, you find some extra time and after a week or two, finally get to level 20. Well, by that time, your friend is now level 30ish, and now he’s telling life is better at 30. And so on…
I had another friend who got hooked on Everquest about three years after I did. He worked on a single character, switched servers to play with another old friend, and worked his butt off to get a character to level 65, the highest level in the game at that time. He didn’t understand why I didn’t have any characters at least his level. He didn’t realize that by that time I was only playing 2-3 times a week for a couple hours at a time compared to the time he was putting in.
Now, getting a chance to play with some of the hard core guys is an experience, especially when it comes to raids. Raids are another type of grouping. Instead of a single group of six, you can have multiple groups combined up to about 72 people. Raids are designed for very high level monsters/dungeons. I had a chance to join my friend’s uber guild on some EQ raids a while back. These are guys that raid 4-5 nights a week for 2-3 or more hours at a time, and it shows. Watching them execute a raid with military precision made it hard to go back to raiding in my guild, where most players are new to the concept.
I used to spend a lot more time playing than I do now. Even in WoW, the newest game, where I have a good portion of friends and family hooked, I don’t spend a lot of time playing. So, that puts me with characters about 20 levels behind almost everyone else.
Once I get to that point, I start to experiment with other classes. So, instead of spending time playing one character to 40, 50 or 60, I may have one guy at level 25 and a bunch of characters at 10 or under. : )
I’m in that indecisive mode now. I’m trying almost all of the classes that WoW has to offer. I think I’ve narrowed it down to three classes…
Fortunately, WoW is relatively new, and it still caters to all players. Everquest now focuses almost entirely on the uber players, and most of them have left for other games ( Everquest 2 came out in November – a week before WoW ).
The biggest difference I have seen is that WoW is drawing in people who normally would not play this type of game. There are lots of true ‘newbies’ on the game. The down side is that there are a lot more younger players ( 17 and under ) on this game. You see some of it in general chat, but you really start to see it in the guilds. The older players tend to get a little raunchy in guild chat, and it will offend the younger players.
So, what I’d like to see is a way to check for ages. My friends and family are talking about forming our own guild in WoW now and trying to restrict it to ages 21 and older. If we find out you’re underage – you’re out. Of course, there’s no true way to ‘card’ people in a virtual world. And, no, age isn’t everything. Some folks over 21 can act like they’re 13 on the game and vice versa.
Still, the game is a fun game overall. It is probably the best game out there at the moment. I also think it’s probably the best one for people completely new to the genre.

in the beginning, there was pc, and it was good…

The path to buying a mac went something like this:
I had decided that this year would be the year I would finally start making an effort to work on my writing skills. I decided that, as part of that task, I would set up a website and challenge myself to start posting blogs about various subjects for friends & family to read.
Since I was going to do some of the work on the web, I thought it might be useful to have something portable enough to write on whenever the mood strikes me. Plus, it gave me an excuse to buy a new toy. : )
I had recently helped my sister with buying a PDA for LVN school. We had started with a Zire 72, and then ended up with a Tungsten T 5. One of her friends from school got a T 5 for Christmas, and after seeing the larger screen, she decided she wanted the T 5. Truthfully, this was a good call, since the majority of the software we were getting for her were medical references. Having the 320×480 screen would allow her to view the virtual typewriter and easily see the search results as she’s typing. The Zire 72’s 320×320 screen wouldn’t allow that to happen. After playing with the larger screen, I think Palm just needs to go to a virtual silkscreen on all of their models.
Continue reading “in the beginning, there was pc, and it was good…”

Why not just politics?

So, why, you ask, is one of my categories called “politic tic tics”?
Well, as they say…
There are two subjects you should avoid when you first meet someone or whenever you’re out on a first date ( personally, I think there are at least four subjects to avoid on a first date… but I digress): Religion and Politics.
Bringing up politics at a party is like chucking a stink bomb into the room. It gets everyone all riled up, and you feel the need to take a shower afterwards.
And if politics were bad, religion is far far worse. Mention something that touches on religion, and you might as well call the WWF and drop the cage down from the ceiling because things are about to get ugly.
Anyway, this will probably be the other ( or, one of the other ) more volatile sections of the site.