Home » Archive

July 2007

Written By: Gary on July 28, 2007 4 Comments

So after my box of yummy Limited Edition Alpha-Bits (now with the sugar back where it belongs) I hadn’t seen it anywhere but Meijer’s so I started feeling anxious that they might stop making it again (it is “limited”). But then I was at Target the other day walking out with my arms were full (I had paid back in the electronics section) and they had just opened (I needed stuff for work) I passed all the employees standing in the aisle having their morning meeting I spied an end-cap with the Limited Edition Alpha-Bits 3 boxes for $7. So I checked the expiration date and managed to stack up 8 boxes in my arms (in addition to my bags and the water, this was all I could hold), this will give me about 1 box a month until expiration, but that’s probably not enough sugary letters for me, I should probably get another 8 or 10 boxes while they’re still on sale today.


Long live Limited Edition Alpha-Bits!!!

Written By: Gary on July 27, 2007 No Comment

It went down again. And it took two calls for someone to be able to tell me they are aware and fixing it. They need a way to keep customers all up to date. Have they ever heard of a status page (or a blog)? I wouldn’t mind any downtime if I could check on it in just a few seconds.

Now it seems as if my permissions are goofed up in some directories.

I’m not sure why you aren’t/weren’t seeing all the post content all the time…

I’d get rid of them if they weren’t so awesome when they were working!!

Tags: [, ]
Written By: Gary on July 23, 2007 One Comment

So the future of television is certainly changing. The networks haven’t completely caught on yet, but they will. In a day when users can download higher quality video than they currently receive, get shows from parts of the world that aren’t available and have the advantage of having no ads and are free (please note this means stolen). We can also buy many of these videos from the iTunes store or Amazon UnBox for $1.99 an episode (iTunes has some at 99 cents for an episode and sometimes get that cheap if you subscribe for season). I know “legal” is not what people think when they hear the word BitTorrent, but BitTorrent.com even sells shows legally these days.

If I could subscribe to a lot of the shows I enjoy for 99 cents an episode and have them automatically download to my AppleTV, TiVo, iPod or other device I’d never have anything more than basic cable. I’m sure this goes for a lot of people. Everything needed (except the mentality) to do this currently exists. The networks and producers of these shows need to somehow start embracing this model before it gets even easier for people to get (steal) these shows for free.

Or charge me significantly less and let me trade the produces some statistical information about myself and let them insert in advertising relevant to me. Give me geeky ads, movie and TV show previews that I like, music that I like. Advertise events and concerts that are taking place where I live. I don’t need diaper ads, tampons, bad credit information, refinancing, ads for cars that cost $50,000+, ways to give up smoking. With the right information instead of advertising a new bed which I may have just purchased, they can advertise new pillows or new sheets (and mark in their files to start giving me new bed advertisements in another 5 years) that I might actually purchase.

Even better, let me give “them” lots of information about me, which I’ll update a few times a month with information about what I’ve purchased or I’m shopping for (who in my life has a birthday coming up) or where I’m traveling to. And they can actually pay me to watch television! I’m not looking for a lot of money but just something to make it worth giving them info (besides, think of how much you’d save on cable if it was free!). Maybe some hotel discount coupons when I mention a vacation, or a coupon for Best Buy when they know I’m looking for a new video camera.

Written By: Gary on July 22, 2007 2 Comments

My AppleTV is awesome! An “iPod for your TV” is a accurate description. I ran the software update (painless!) and it gave me YouTube videos and fixed “enhanced podcasts”.

It mirrors one of your computer’s iTunes just like an iPod does (and allows you exceptions) and will stream from any other computers running iTunes (platform independent) and I don’t think there is a limit. I can’t believe how fast it pulls hi-res movie previews from Apple down to the unit, it’s very very fast. It’s actually much faster than pulling down YouTube videos (many which are low-res).

It really streams full-scren video from other computers really efficiently. Very rarely does it need a moment to catch up. It has no problem with steaming audio. It almost makes no sense to download podcasts, I bet you could stream them live if you had a way to just get the RSS feeds onto the AppleTV.

With “enhanced podcasts” it now properly advances the embedded images to follow along with the audio. The problem is that it just shows them to the side like the album artwork, some images are much larger so it really cheats you by scaling them down. Since you don’t use the up/down keys on the remote during this process “up” would be a great way to enlarge the images.

I have the same image size concern when viewing slideshows with the “Ken Burns effect”, sometimes I want to view the whole image. Once again this would be another great use for the up button. The down button could be used for viewing filenames, date, time and other info about the images. Actually, this would be a good use for the down button while viewing videos or audio.

A few more features (like on the TiVo) like weather, movie listings and maybe Flickr photo viewing and it’d be even better…What I don’t like is that it only lets you sync with one computer. I’d like to sync music with one, videos with another and podcasts with another (not so sure if I care about the latter).

What I need:
1) A way to automatically convert videos and stick them into iTunes for me (so when I drop/download a file to a folder, it starts processing for me). I could probably do this via Mac or Windows….

2) A way to play other file formats on the AppleTV, such as AVI and DiVX files. I think I can hack it to do that but I’m not sure if I want to take it apart yet.

Written By: Gary on July 21, 2007 One Comment

So I’ve been very interested in the AppleTV and never got around to trying it. But I was feeling pretty happy after happy hour yeast and Best Buy has a good return policy so I’m now the proud owner of an AppleTV (40GB). It’s very cool. Very easy to install. Very easy to configure. Pure yummy Apple perfection. And there is no way I’m going to return it!

Two user-interface suggestions:
1) They need a better distinction between the computer you sync with and the computers you stream from. This needs to be better in the AppleTV and in iTunes.
2) The top menu item says AppleTV and it looks like it’s a title and not a menu item (it actually takes you back to the main menu) and it’s confusing. I’ve read about this but I forgot about it…
3) Put in a DVD player and a video/s-video port. (This doesn’t count since it’s not an interface issue).
3b) Safari would be cool too! This would just be for .Mac members so it would interface with your bookmarks!

If you think you’d like one of these, then run and go get one, it’s way cool.

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2007 2 Comments

Found this cool 360 degree panorama of Karnak Temple. It requires Quicktime (I was there last year, BTW).

(I was actually looking for something on The Moon Landing which was 38 years ago today….)

Written By: Gary on July 19, 2007 No Comment

If you use PayPal, this suggestion is for you as an individual (not for the PayPal company itself). PayPal lets you add several e-mail addresses to your account to send/receive money. My suggestion is to add a few other addresses that you use to your account. If someone sends you money to one of these other addresses it’s way easier to claim it!

And I also think it might be better for you if your current e-mail account ever goes under, the other e-mail will already be on file.

I just had the first problem, and PayPal phone support resolved it for me pretty quick (if I would have shut up and stopped asking questions they probably would have resolved it even faster).

Tags: [, ]
Written By: Gary on July 17, 2007 One Comment

I saw The Police in concert tonight at the Palace in Auburn Hills. They were excellent!!!! You’d never know these guys hadn’t toured in years, any other reunion (or county fair concert) I’ve ever seen you could tell everyone was out of practice, but not these guys.

I had a great seat, I wasn’t real close but I was a few rows off the main floor, I had a way better seat than the people who were 15 feet from me on the main floor that (I think) paid a lot more. They had an incredible stage setup, huge video displays and great camera angles.

Here’s the run down on the guys:

  • Sting – Awesome singer. He probably looks less old than the rest of the gang. (I don’t think he did any of his own songs, but his son’s band did open).
  • Stewart Copland – Excellent on the instruments, probably better than the other guys. Not sure what he’s done lately on his own (remember when he did the theme for The Equalizer TV series?).
  • Andy Summers – Looked a little ragged (sorry Andy). I’ve seen him in concert (he opened for Tangerine Dream), I thought he was a lot more mellow.

    I took a few photos, but I don’t know how to get them off the (stupid) Verizon RAZR v3 phone I have from work (my Treo is in the shop). I can’t seem to bluetooth them or e-mail them to a regular e-mail account, anyone?

    And what was up with the really old guitar of Sting? It looked in pretty sad shape, there must be a story (and someone must know it).

  • Written By: Gary on July 16, 2007 No Comment

    So I really enjoyed my concert experience at Ravinia (in Highland Park, IL). It was a beautiful place and I loved it. Beforehand it had been mentioned to me that you couldn’t see from the lawn, but I figured that was an exaggeration, it wasn’t. When I walked in, it was wall to wall people and I couldn’t even see the cover of the pavilion, it was the Lawn From Hell. I bet I walked around for five minutes before I noticed the pavilion, I’m so glad I got a seat, I did look back from inside and there really only were a few spots where I could see a limited number (50-100) of people on the lawn. This place was great though, people had shown up hours early and set up their little fold up tables with their wine and cheese; at first it seemed a bit pretentious but I really began to like the place for as crazy as it was there.

    One complaint is that it wasn’t made clear that I couldn’t take drinks into the pavilion, (bottled water only I think) they’d sell it to me right next to the pavilion but I couldn’t take it in. They said to chug my wine :(

    They have a great shuttle system to get you to free parking lots all over the area (on site is $20-ish). It was a little confusing on the way in but it was like clockwork on the way out. They’ve got a nearby Metra stop too, but I was confused if you need to needed to take the shuttle or if around concert times it actually stops on the grounds; you actually cross the tracks if you park in one of the lots on-site.

    I’ll definitely check the schedule there the next time I’m in the area.

    Written By: Gary on July 15, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m a little behind on the Ravinia concert updates, so here we go.

    As all Indigo Girl concerts go, all the fans know all the lyrics and sing along to all the songs. Okay, so not every song, but pretty much every song. By the end of the concert my ears were ringing a little bit and it’s not because of the speakers, it was because of the fans singing.

    The concert was excellent, one of the better ones I’ve seen of theirs (I’d guess I’ve seen them about 10 times). Philadelphia was one of the best, maybe the farther I go the better they get? And I’d have to say the time I saw them in Lilith Fair (Auburn Hills, MI) was probably the worst. But I digress…

    So it was great and they had everyone going from the beginning, I was a little worried since Brandi Carlile tried to get us to sing along to something and it bombed. We all cheered and sang and applauded over and over. Brandi sang backing on a song. They played some more and Amy Ray sang Romeo and Juliet and it was incredible, it’s one of my favorite songs of hers and she totally nailed it. And Brandi came out and sang Kid Fears, she did the Michael Stipe (REM) part and it gave me chills (I’m getting them even as I type this weeks later), it was amazing. Then IG just continued (and didn’t stop) with an awesome concert, it was well worth the trip. I’ll finish up my review in part 3 (that I promise to post soon).

    I’ve got the word “dancing” here in my notes, but I’m not sure exactly why I wrote that. I must have had an anecdote related to that and I assumed I’d remember…

    Written By: Gary on July 15, 2007 2 Comments

    The title really says it all. But you have to see it to believe it!

    And when you’re done watching it, you can bid on it and other extras (it’s up to $1,100 for some weird reason).

    Written By: Gary on July 14, 2007 4 Comments

    Click for airplane video if it doesn’t appear below…

    Written By: Gary on July 13, 2007 One Comment

    Over at The Good Human it was mentioned that a “13 year old understands better than most how jeans are made” and so I went over to Simple Living to read it. Madison, the bloggers daughter, wrote it and it’s a great explanation on the resources used to make jeans so go take a quick look at it…

    Written By: Gary on July 13, 2007 2 Comments

    Here is the official 1-18-08 movie preview. It’s so clear it’s hard to feel the amateurish video quality that the preview had in the theater…

    And they added a third image to the 1-18-08.com site.

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve mentioned the 1-18-08 preview before…

    Written By: Gary on July 13, 2007 2 Comments

    So about 18 months ago I mentioned that Post removed all the sugar from Alpha-Bits cereal. Not only that, they removed all the flavor! They were awful!!!

    So someone e-mailed me last week about the new “Special Edition” dark blue box that was out. Here’s the thing, the box says “special edition” but not what’s “special” about it. THe box does say it’s sweetened but that’s it. Very strange.

    It’s like the old Alpha-Bits are back. Very yummy! The last box I bought was the un-sweetened kind and I didn’t even finish the first bowl. I hope these last a while. I which there was a place to vote or something they should never return to the awful bits they’ve been trying to peddle for the last year…

    Written By: Gary on July 12, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m not the largest Harry Potter fan, I’ve read the books, but I think I missed the last movie. I got dragged to the latest one but I did enjoy it. Except for the flying in the opening sequence the effects were awesome. They cut so much out of the books (and the books keep getting bigger), it’d probably be better if they’d make the movies twice as long and just release them in two parts (but twice as often) and make them ‘to be continued’…

    The parts when the magistrate (government) were nosing around the school with what should be taught and how it should be taught were hysterical, especially the parts about the standardized testing.

    Harry is starting to look pretty old, I’m not sure how him and the gang are going to make it to the 7th movie without looking like 5th year college students.

    Written By: Gary on July 12, 2007 No Comment

    After the pilot, the next few episodes of Traveler were a little slow (and complicated) and I didn’t really think I’d get into it. But after that I was hooked! It had the chase scenes and the conspiracy and the action but they didn’t waste time repeating themselves all the time like so many other shows do. It’s like they’re Jack Bauer and they’ve been falsely accused of bombing a museum. On paper the guy who did it doesn’t seem to exist so they’ve got to evade the law and prove that Will exists and that they didn’t do it.

    This weeks show was packed with twists and turns and ended with a great twist. Unfortunately next week is the season finale, this has got to be the shortest season I’ve seen, it was only eight episodes. As sad as I am that it’s only eight, I prefer that over them stretching the same story out over 15 or 20 episodes. I’m not familiar with the directors/producers but I’ll watch more if they make it.

    FYI, on a non-related note, the new season of Psych starts Friday on USA.

    Written By: Gary on July 11, 2007 One Comment

    Brandi Carlile is headlining the VH1 You Ought to Know Tour. She’ll be at St. Andrews Hall on October 14th. Yeah, I know I just saw her, but she;s going to be about a 10 minute ride from my place, how can I not go?

    If anyone is going let me know and we can say HI at the concert.

    Pre-sale tickets were supposed to be at VH1 today, but I can’t find them. TicketMaster wasn’t supposed to have them until Saturday, please note the operative worlds “supposed to” they appear to be available for some cities.

    And Ticketmaster give me 10 free iTunes songs (their choosing) so be sure to pay attention at the end of your order to not miss the button for that…

    Written By: Gary on July 7, 2007 12 Comments

    We’ve got some more URLs for that J J Abrams mystery movie that I saw the preview for, they appear to be semi-authentic.

    Sadly, I’m not thinking it’s a Godzilla movie anymore :(

    Update: Here’s a pretty good copy of the unnamed preview.

  • 1-18-08.com – Which has been modified to show a raqndom placement of two photos (I assume the quantity will grow). Domain created March 30, 2007. Everyone seems to think this one is real.
  • Parasite Movie – Supposedly a possible name for the movie. This page has a countdown until August first (with some other web addresses). Domain created Jun 7, 2007. The fact that the meta-words contain the word “transformers” makes me think this might be fake.
  • Ethan Hass Was Right – The weird shape is an interactive (flash) puzzle and you get a video when you solve it. Domain name not created until July 7, 2007 so I’m slightly skeptical on this one. It’s put together professionally, possibly for another movie if not related.
    And if you don’t have flash when you go to the above page, you get
    “…war came, no longer from the elemental nor from the star’s rain of fire. The world was again remade, and the glow was as the coming of the sun upon the Earth. The children of the gods were again too few, scattered and divided and among them walked the ancients and those whose thoughts were not as to the towers and the marvels, but to the End and the destruction of the Earth and to the fires from which nothing could escape”

    Not sure if the following are real sites sponsored by the producers or not. But supposedly someone has been pulling the Ethan Haas stuff from YouTube as fast as the 1-18-08 stuff.

  • Ethan Hass (dot com) – Please note Haas is spelt incorrectly. Created July 6.

  • Ethan Haas (dot org). Also created July 6, 2007.
  • Ethan Hass Was Wrong Blog
  • Ethan Hass Was Right Blog

    Also, most of the domains are all registered from different addresses.

    UPDATE! Please note from Angela’s comment below that the Ethan Haas sites appear to be not related to the 1-18-08 movie (but JJ does have some undiscovered ones).

  • Written By: Gary on July 3, 2007 2 Comments

    So I was never a huge Transformers fan. I never understood the reasoning/idea of the robots Transforming into cars (please don’t try to explain it to me) as a great story-line even for the comics. But the effects and the Michael Bay action couldn’t keep me away.

    THe effects were awesome, lots of action, lots of destruction and a bit of campy humor. I was totally into the movie and the chase scenes and the explosions. It did take more than a few minutes to set the movie up, but since the movie was two hours and twenty minutes I really won’t complain about that. My biggest complaint is to ditch the little robot that transforms into the tape deck, but they probably needed something that wouldn’t totally slaughter the humans…

    If it interests you, go see it, you’ll love it. My piece of trivia for this movie: the voice of Optimus Prime is the same guy who did the voice for the cartoons.

    I still don’t get the idea of the robot/car transformations, but I certainly want my car to be able to do it!

    Written By: Gary on July 3, 2007 9 Comments

    So I just got back from the movies and what’s more important than a movie review?!? A movie preview review! What’s the title of this movie? I don’t know. They didn’t list a title just that it was produced by J. J. Abrams. Plus they didn’t give it away as to what the movie is actually about, very strange…

    So the trailer is a home movie of a party and after they establish the characters (and that it’s a going-away party) you hear a rumble and a noise outside. They then go up to the roof and hear the same noises and see an explosion in the distance. Then the camera angles get all Blair-Witch-like as they run around and there are a few more explosions (and screaming).

    Then you just see J. J. Abrams name and the date of the release, 01.18.08, and that’s it. Very strange. Looks very cool.

    I thought it was a Godzilla flick but the rumors on-line don’t think so (but that was their first impression too). But I’m still hoping…

    UPDATE:
    Plus they’ve updated the site at 1-18-08.com which now has a second photo and they are a flash image now that randomly layers them (instead of the single jpeg that was there before) and I imagine they’ll slowly add more (fyi, all the images are date-stamped 1-18-08).

    They’ve been pulling down the trailers pretty fast but here’s a copy that was live on YouTube
    It should give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

    Please note I’ve put some additional information up on July 7th.

    Written By: Gary on July 2, 2007 One Comment

    So back to the concert in Ravina that I’ve mentioned sever times already. Brandi Carlile was the first act, she’s big enough these days that I’m surprised she didn’t get mentioned in the listings for the concert. She was incredible, I really like the songs on her current album and she played quite a few songs in the forty minutes that she was up there. Man, she can belt out a tune. Any & Emily came out and did a song with her which I never realized that they sang with her on the album.

    So Brandi has changed a bit in the last year since I saw here in Ann Arbor. When she was there she was excellent but she was kind of casual about her look (in a good way). When I saw the video for The Story I noticed how much makeup and hair-do work she had done, I didn’t even realize it was her at first (and who else would it have been). She still had her jeans and cowgirl boots on, but she definitely was still a bit more made up than I’ve seen her before (in person and album covers, etc.) and the jeans seemed a bit more low-cut than how I picture her normally. Speaking of last year’s concert, I do recall her being very grateful and chatty about Grey’s Anatomy but it didn’t get a mention at all this concert.

    She mentioned she was a huge Indigo Girls fan and tried to get us to sing along to a song (she knows everyone sings along to every Indigo Girls song) but it was a hard one, we didn’t didn’t do so good, we did better singing with some songs that she didn’t encourage us to sing on.

    After her concert she cam back out and sang “Kid Fears” with IG, she did the Michael Stipe (from REM) part. She was incredible, it actually gave me chills when I heard it.

    She sang more with IG, but that’s another post (or two).

    Written By: Gary on July 2, 2007 2 Comments

    So I went to see Waitress, starring Keri Russell, at the Main Art Theater (in Royal Oak, MI). I like Keri, unfortunately there is something about the parts she plays that I generally don’t like. But the reviews have been giving her great acclaim for this movie. Rightly so, she did an excellent job and I really liked her and her character in this film.

    She plays a small-town waitress in a rotten marriage who makes pies. These aren’t ordinary pies, they’re extra-ordinary pies. She thinks these pies out according to her mood, they might be called:

  • Falling in Love Chocolate Mousse pie.
  • Bubble-gum Mermaid Pie.
  • Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie – Lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in. Flambé of course!
  • I Hate My Husband Pie – You take bittersweet chocolate and don’t sweeten it. You make it into a pudding and drown it in caramel.

    And everyone just thinks they are the best thing ever. She’s trying to save money and wants to win a $25,000 pie contest so that she can finally leave her husband.

    The interactions with the other waitresses and with Joe, the old coot in one of the booths, (played by Andy Griffith) are excellent and I laughed aloud in the theatre many times. Her Ob-Gyn is played by Nathan Fillion and they have some hysterical interactions and strange conversations, so strange it makes me wonder if they had a script, or if they didn’t if they re-edited it to make it so goofy. I loved it!

  • Written By: Gary on July 1, 2007 2 Comments

    For the effects I give it a big WOW! THe effects were amazing. Where were these movies when we were kids? We would have gone nuts over them. Now most comic story-lines are so complicated, you could never make a movie out of them.

    The story-line was great but they had this constant sub-story line of stupid jokes and their powers bouncing back and forth which was just a waste in my humble opinion. Reed working around the wedding plans trying to save the world was interesting. And it was a lot faster moving than the first movie, IMHO. There was something odd about Jessica Alba, was it just that she was a blonde or was there too much make-up or what?

    We lost power just before the end of the movie so a few of us were debating if it was going to end in a few minutes or if it was ‘to be continued’, I was for the latter, I felt that way before going to see the movie.

    They had a bit of product placement, mostly by joking about sponsors for the team, which I enjoyed. And over at Population Statistic, Costa noticed that the name of the catering company was Edible Planet.

    Being a comic fan when I was a kid I really enjoyed this movie movie even with the above comments. Just remember it’s a movie, not a comic and they take some liberties.Did the girl named Frankie have the last name of Ray? Doesn’t she eventually become a herald of Galactus?

      Copyright ©2003-2013 Gary Said…, All rights reserved.| Powered by WordPress| Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates

    http://GarySaid.com/2007/07/ generated Friday, February 24th 2017 at 11:33:07 pm EST (in 153 queries in 0.646 seconds).