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Articles tagged with: DVD

DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc (I bet you thought the V was for Video?). Probably about a movie / video I watched, this would include Blu-Ray DVDs these days. I might be talking about using them for computer backups or something else geeky (they are versatile you know!).

Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 3 Comments
1. Do you like board games? If so what is your favorite?
While not actually a board, my favorite is actually Dominoes, which (if you’ve never played) is like playing cards, they’re a million games you can play with one set. As actual board games go Scrabble is probably my favorite regular old board game.

2. Do you like card games? if so what is your favorite?
Euchre is probably the only regular card game that I really like. I like Sequence too, but that’s more of a board game.

3. Do you like computer games? If so what is your favorite?
Not a big computer gamer. I play Solitaire or Scrabble on my Palm Pilot. I play SameGame on my TiVo (it’s a new option they’re testing) but I can’t find a rendition that playes exactly the same on my computer or Palm.

4. Do you play role playing games? (EverQuest, MUDs, SIMS, Etc) If so, tell us about the game you are addicted to.
I used to play the Scott Addam’s text adventure games (not the cartoonist). And I used to play SimCity and get addicted every so often, but not in a long time.

5. If you do not play games.. how do you pass the time?
Well, I do. But when I’m not I read, see movies, bike, rollerblade and surf the ‘net.
Six. Okay, so there wasn’t really a 6 but I didn’t have a category for one of my favorite games.
It’s trivia, has a board and requires a DVD player: Scene It? It’s the best trivia game out there, games are fast and it’s easy to learn.

From Tuesday’s Tales via The Daily Meme.

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Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 One Comment

TiVo is giving away a free movie called Red Trousers. It’s only for Series 2 DVRs with broadband (but not the DirectTivo). This is just to test the new “TiVo Video Download” service. Here’s the thing, it’s downloading the movie via your high speed internet! It’ll be interesting to see.

I’ve always thought there would be a market for showing the first 15 minutes of a movie (or even 30 minutes). Let me pick some movies I’m interested in from a list, it downloads the first fifteen minutes, in exchange I answer a few (5-8) multiple choice questions for them. (If you don’t answer all the questions, you can’t delete it, which means you can’t download another).

They’re calling it an advanced screening, but it’s out on DVD (click the image), I think it’s more of an advanced preview of the new system.

In this dazzling combination of documentary and short film directed by and starring Robin Shou, star of MORTAL KOMBAT, and which Los Angeles City Beat called “a must-see for Hong Kong action fans” and the LA Times called “pure delight,” the death-defying feats performed by the world’s greatest stuntmen (nicknamed “red trousers” for the pants they wear during their training at Chinese opera schools) are profiled through interviews and clips that showcase their work. Intercutting with the documentary footage is the short film LOST TIME, a futuristic martial arts adventure in the style of Alex Proyas’ DARK CITY, where one can appreciate the stuntmen’s extraordinary achievement in their final cinematic form.

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Written By: Gary on November 3, 2005 2 Comments

WirebraidSo my buddy is in the hospital for the week (or maybe two). He’s under observation for some concerns revolving around his brain misfiring. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the “brain issues” but it involves some memory lapses (so if I ever murder anyone, I’m going to pin the whole thing on him). The thing is he’s wired up (see photo) 24/7 on a 20-30 foot connection and under video surveillance. And to top it off, he has no internet access :(

So he’s probably bored out of his skull, they’ve weaned him off his medication, have sleep deprived him and he hasn’t had any problems. No problems mean nothing to measure, which means nothing to solve. And to top it off the other five people under observation have all had occurrences of whatever problems they are “in” for…

He’s got a DVD/VCR but the remote is missing and without the remote you can’t pause it or skip/fast-forward. So this means he’s got to watch a show straight through or if a Doctor or Nurse comes in he has to ignore it and start it over later (ignoring the parts he’s already seen).

No complaints about the food but everyone brings him food/snacks/cookies/pie/etc…

I’d be going crazy but he seems to be doing okay so far. It’s another sleep deprived night for him :(

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Written By: Gary on October 16, 2005 6 Comments

Vcr tivo tombstoneSo everyone everywhere has been saying the VCR is dead. TiVo sent out an e-mail last week, I’m sure you got it (you do have TiVo don’t you?). It said:

Did you know…?
• Many manufacturers have halted production on VCRs forever!
• 2006 will be the last year for VHS movie releases.

But here’s the thing, so many people still have VHS tapes, they won’t be going anywhere soon. Who has ditched their cassette players if you still have cassettes? CDs were clearly better and more convenient. But the problem was that you couldn’t record CD (way back when, we could only play CDS, not record) and it’s still pretty hard for many people to make mix CDs. And most people can’t record anything to CD for something casual (off the radio, a recital, etc). The same goes for DVDs.

So they did a mock funeral in New York and if you brought a VHS tape you could trade it for a TiVo (as long as sign up for at least a year’s worth of service).

There are a lot of CD and DVD recorders but they’re just not that for the normal consumer yet. Actually, it might be easier for most people to make DVDs of home videos than CDs of home audio. The software is out there for that and it’s semi-easy to use, the TiVo recorders (and I’m sure the competitors) will do that quite easily.

Once TiVo and the other DVR companies get out there with more DVD recorders I think it’ll really end it. People will still have those old 8 track tapes, I mean VHS tapes, and need to play them but I can see them not making any more.

95% of my VHS recording was generally TV shows that I taped over later or lent to friends who missed the show. Now I can just save a copy to DVD for me or them but it’s slightly pricier and I generally don’t get the DVD back or I can save a copy to watch at friends or on my laptop. I’ve been renting movies on DVD for years so that’s not an issue. I’m not even sure what the other 5% was: Duplicating home movies/parties/weddings? Taping friends/me/family on TV? Both of those were pretty rare.

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Written By: Gary on September 21, 2005 4 Comments

 .macI just noticed that .Mac expanded their storage from 250MB to 1GB (as of August 2007 it’s now 10GB!) which makes it even better! If you have a Macintosh, you’ll love this (especially if you have a laptop or more than one Mac). It’s a remote backup / synchronization / virus checking / file sharing / training / web publishing software service rolled all-in-one! I was going to post an update and I realized I’ve never posted about it before (I’d swear I had, I can’t believe I hadn’t). Here’s a few details:

  • You get an iDisk which just mounts on your desktop like a hard drive, floppy or thumb drive. It has remote storage (off your computer) and will automatically sync when you are on the net (but you can use it even when you aren’t on the net). This is great if you have a laptop. If you lose/break it, you still have you files.

  • These files are then accessible (via password) from most Windows and Macs that are on the Internet.
  • If you have a second (or third computer) it’ll also sync to make sure all the computers have the same files.
  • It does the same for you Bookmarks/Favorites, your Mail settings, your contacts and your calendar. Plus you can log in anywhere from the web to view this information!
  • Plus they give you web space to very easily publish photos and movies (just click a button from iPhoto and iMovie).Banner
  • A yourname@mac.com e-mail address. (You share the storage space with the filespace)
  • Free virus software. (no longer included)
  • Free backup software (to CDs, DVDs, etc.)
  • On-line tutorials for Apple “stuff”
  • Some free garageband loops.
  • All sorts of other stuff!
  • You can buy more storage space and additional mail accounts.

    They offer a 60 day free trial so give it a try, it’s very easy to set up. It is $99 a year (sometimes on-sale) but it’s so easy to use…

    They have some family plans (you get less storage for the four subaccounts) which cost less in the end. You can buy more storage or more e-mail. They are a little pricier but the ease of use is worth it.

    This is a really cool product, I can’t believed I’ve never mentioned it before. And the easy of use makes it even better. If you were geeky enough you could probably do the remote back up much cheaper, but the work involved and that it wouldn’t do all you other preferences and include virus and all the easy web published and tutorials (and more).

    I’m thinking the storage increase must be very new, a lot of the online ads don’t even reflect it yet.

  • Written By: Gary on August 9, 2005 4 Comments

    TivoaniI love my TiVo!!! I’ve seen other digital recorders but this is so easy to use with it’s excellent interface. I think it’s a great product. You can watch stuff when you want or start a show late and catch up to it by fast forwarding through the commercials. If you’re just watching TV live you can pause it or even rewind. It’s got season passes, wish lists, automatic suggestions (based on what you want), fast forward at 1 minute per second, on screen directory, you can schedule shows via the web and all sorts of other stuff. They have got to save shows to DVD. If you hook it up to your home network (you do have a home network, don’t you?) you can play MP3s and view photos that are on a computer somewhere else. You can share shows between TiVos in your house (if you have more than one). It really is a great tool to have for your TV watching (even if you don’t watch a lot).

    If you’ve considered it, you should try it. At the TiVo web site they offer a 30 money back guarantee!

    You can also enter to win a TiVo and portable video player. It looks like you can (and should) enter daily.

    So why am I talking about TiVo today? I’ve spent a chunk of today upgrading my home TiVo to have more space (bigger is better). And trying to fix another old broken one (still working on that).

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    Written By: Gary on August 7, 2005 2 Comments

    SceneitboardSo I know I’ve mentioned Scene It? several times before. I’m going to plug it again? Why you ask? Because I’ve seen a few new editions and some old ones released differently. Personally, I own the Junior, TV and regular refill pack (the board is the same for them all). I’ve bought at least a half-dozen of these as gifts (maybe a dozen).

    Why is this game so great? It’s fast and easy to play; plus you can even fold the board in half to play an even shorter version. It’s got fun questions and about every third one is multi-media via the DVD player. Go directly to the Scene It? web site for more info and samples. Plus they give away a Scene It game a week.

    The different editions are:

  • The Harry Potter Edition is now out (this is new). Barnes and Nobel has a Deluxe HP edition but I’m not sure what the bonus is.
  • A Music Edition is now out too (at least I haven’t seen it before and I can only find it at Target so I guess that’s new).
  • The OO7 James Bond and Turner Classic Movies Edition have been available but are now out in new refill packs (007 or TCM).
  • As always they’ve got the regular and deluxe editions (and a Refill Pack to make the regular be deluxe).
  • Plus the TV Edition, Disney Edition and SCENE IT? Jr. are out.
  • While I was making these links I noticed the Sports Edition
  • I just found a HBO Expansion Pack too!

    FYI – I saw all these at Target today (just the refills for 007 and TCM but not the Sports or HBO).

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    Written By: Gary on July 25, 2005 4 Comments

    So I picked up an HD TV cable box today. But I don’t have an HD television. “Why?”, you ask? The better to see it with! My picture for the HD channels are beautiful!!! I feel like I just bought a new TV! My HD cable TV box will work fine on most TVs; probably any TV that will let you hook up a DVD player will hook up to this and give you a much better picture.

    HdtvlogoHere’s the thing: it’s got regular “video out” connectors on it (the yellow video or s-video), the same connectors that you use to hook up your DVD player. If you think your DVD picture is better than your regular TV, I’d say you should try this out. I’ve got Comcast in the Detroit area, I just walked in to get the box and came home and hooked it up instead of the old one. It’s only $5 more a month than the regular digital cable box.

    How good is the picture do you ask? It almost as good as my DVD player !!! I’m using the s-video connector (the one that looks like the small round keyboard connector for your computer) and I’d say it’s way better than my old digital cable box. I’m sure you’re wondering why and the answer is simple: The television standard that we use has ben in use for over sixty years and that was black and white (color wasn’t tacked on until a dozen years later).

    I’ve got ABC, NBC, CBS (although somethings up with it, which is unfortunate since I watch a bit of CBS), 2 PBS, the Discovery Channel, INHD & INHD2 (which carries IMAX programming), TNT, FOX and some other HD channel. If they had USA and SciFi, I’d be all set!

    GEEK SPEAK: It would probably be a better picture if I didn’t have it running through my TiVo (but it’s inputs aren’t as high as the outputs of the HD box). The cable box has digital optical audio and coaxial audio outputs (it’s gotta have great sound, but the TiVo can’t handle it). Plus component video outputs. Even geekier: it’s got 3 USB ports, 2 firewire, some kind of smart card slot and it looks like a cable modem built-in. They don’t appear to use the cable modem, I’m wondering what would happen if I called in to activate it as if it was one I purchased.

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    Written By: Gary on July 24, 2005 3 Comments

    So the SciFi channel started rerunning Firefly and the preview for the Serenity movie (the movie sequel) looks so great I thought I’d try the series again (I think I tried one episode originally and it didn’t take), but I think they (whatever network dropped it) originally ran them out of order. This was part one of the two part pilot (which was never run as the pilot, I’m not even 100% sure it was ever run they actually ran it as the last episode). I really enjoyed it! I think I might pick up the DVD and catch up in higher picture quality and the missing three episodes. And I really don’t need another Friday show; Stargate, Atlantis, Numbers, Monk, and Battlestar Galactica is already more than I watch the rest of the week combined!

    Written By: Gary on July 5, 2005 2 Comments

    I’m really liking the first season of Lost! I never watched it the first time around and I’m loving it. What’s great is most of these people have nothing to do with one another so the stories don’t have to be related at all! Emilie de Ravin, who played the bad alien in Roswell, is growing on me, I didn’t like her much as Tess but her pregnant character is interesting. And Terry O’Quinn (from Alias, X-files and Millenium) is a great character too, they just revealed his secret in the episode I just watched.

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    Written By: Gary on May 22, 2005 4 Comments

    GreysanatomyIt was the season finale, wasn’t it?!? I don’t see any more episodes in my Tivo, either way it was a very busy episode. Poor George, he’s just the butt of everyone’s jokes and all he can do is stammer if it’s an embarrassing situation. At least he’s the new girlfriend (anyone know who plays her?). Every time I see Isobel I just want to reminisce and pull out the old Roswell DVDs, she’ll always be Isabel to me (oh wait, she still is).

    I think “cliff-hanger” at the end will be resolved pretty easily come next season…

    BTW, whenever anyone questions your relationship with your boss (and it turns out that you started dating him before he was your boss and/or you knew he was going to be your boss) that should be the first thing you say to them!

    FYI, there is a nurse blog from the hospital, it’s a little out of date (but aren’t most of them?).

    Written By: Gary on May 8, 2005 One Comment

    Grey’s Anatomy just keeps getting better and better! I’m not sure if it was a great episode this week, but it had a lot of great sub-parts/scenes. (Sorry no quotes this week)

    And speaking of great television Joan of Arcadia comes out on DVD this week!!!! I haven’t been as excited about Joan this season but I’m looking forward to season one again…

    Written By: Gary on April 21, 2005 No Comment

    Pick one word from each of the following pairs.
    1. Laptop or desktop computer? Laptop. Powerbook!
    2. When listening to music, headphones or no headphones? No Headphones.
    3. CD or mp3? CD. But MP3s or AACs are way more convenient when they are all in my iPod.
    4. When watching TV, lights on or off? Off!
    5. DVD or VHS? DVD.

    From Thursday Thoughts .

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    Written By: Gary on March 21, 2005 One Comment

    So if you’re watching the new Battlestar Galactica on the SciFi channel (several times per Friday night) there is a way to listen to a commentary by producer Ronald D. Moore (like the director’s commentary you can listen to on DVDs). They are marketing these as podcasts but they are really just MP3 files (but of course you can get them with your podcasting client. I haven’t listened yet (I’m a few weeks behind on my TiVo) but I thought I’d mention it…

    Also they’ve got the first episode on-line with a few deleted scenes. I’ve got to assume the deleted scenes and commentary will al be available once they release the DVDs…

    Written By: Gary on February 22, 2005 One Comment

    So I picked up The Beekeeper today. It really does reminds me of her older albums (even the packaging). I’m liking it so far. There seems to be two versions a reguluar version with 19 tracks and a limited edition with the same album, a DVD and some seeds to plant (I’m not kidding). The DVD has a really long interview thing that I haven’t really listened to yet and a extra track (Garland) that appears to be part video / part slideshow (with quotes from her book Tori Amos: Piece by Piece). Most places seem to have the regular for $12-ish and the deluxe for $16-ish (YMMV).

    FYI – I had a hard time getting the CD out of my slot-loading Macintosh Powerbook. I’ve never had such a problem before and I didn’t try to replicated it since it was hard to get out (duh!). Once I got it out I did see that it had a kind of rough matte/flat covering on the label side of the CD. It might have been a fluke but bee (get it?) careful!

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    Written By: Gary on February 21, 2005 One Comment

    Tori has a new CD out tomarrow! It’s called The Beekeeper. I’ve only heard one song (Sleeps With Butterflies) but I think I’m going to like it, it reminds me of a few of her older albums.

    She’s also got a new book out called Tori Amos: Piece by Piece. I’ve purchased it but I haven’t read it (today would have been a good day to read it).

    FYI – There is a regular and deluxe edition of the CD, not sure of the difference (I’m assuming a DVD in the bonus version?).

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    Written By: Gary on February 17, 2005 No Comment

    SharplcdI’ve been wanting a LCD monitor for my other computer. Hadn’t seen any great deals since I made the decision. Then I saw an awesome price (read below) on this 15“ Sharp LCD TV with built-in TV (antenna or cable) w/CC and RCA video and S-video and a headphone jack and a remote (batteries included) and built-in speakers…

    And did I say it’s got a beautiful picture!?!

    Put one of these and a Mini-Mac and you’ve got a nice little setup for computing and watching DVDs or TV in the den, office, bedroom, etc… It’s just such a nice little package I thought I’d share since they are still offering the deal. This article is where I found it and lists a few coupon codes that gets the price (no rebates necessary) down to $215-$218 (depending on if you are a first time customer or not).

    I’m not sure if I’m actually going to put it on the computer that I bought it for…

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    Written By: Gary on February 10, 2005 4 Comments

    So I was kinda sad when I saw the commercial for the beautiful/sleek m:robe MR-500i (the Olympus MP3/camera). I’ve been raving about my photo iPod and now this thing comes along. But on The Screen Savers they just gave it a pretty bad review (no flash, no shutter button, 20 GB, very slow to download songs, $500). Looks beautiful was pretty much all they had to say that was good about it… And what’s up with the dumb name?

    So I still feel pretty great about my iPod Photo (and isn’t that what really matters?).

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    Written By: Gary on January 8, 2005 One Comment

    Lots of walking today at the CES. Saw lots of new electronic “stuff”. Here’s my complaint: I haven’t seen anything “new”. Of course how can that be true there were 500,000 “new” items. Everything was the next generation of things I’ve seen or had. I’m not saying I won’t buy any of the products, just nothing knocked my socks off. Everything was a little bit smaller, a bit brighter, a bit faster, a few more (mega)pixels, longer battery life and a few more devices integrated into one.

    Lots of iPod accessories. Lots of HD stuff. Blu-ray DVD (50 GB of storage). Rio Zen is really trying to take the MP3 market.

    Sony may have had the best setup. They made you sit through a short show before getting into their area, nice sound and nice images especially for and info-mercial. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that they probably had the best booth I saw today. A beautiful projector for $3,500. HD movies with Blu-ray. Some nice cellphones that play video and have digital cameras. Some beautiful computer displays.

    I’ll have to check out “the best of” area, I think I had to cut outside to do that and it was too rainy and too cold!

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    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2004 No Comment
    FQ1: What’s an impressive gift ($50 US or less) on your wish list?
    Probably the Star Wars Trilogy DVD (widescreen) set.
    FQ2: What’s an expensive gift ($500 US or less) on your wish list?
    I don’t think I have anything on my list that’s greater than $50 and less than $500. I’d love a plane ticket to somewhere warm. Oh, wait! I want an Alpine car stereo with the iPod adaptor!!! (Have I told you how much I like my iPod?!?)
    FQ3: What’s an extravagant gift ($5000 US or less) on your wish list?
    I’ve got a G5 iMac listed, but if I can go up to $5k I want the latest and greatest G5 desktop (with lots of disk space and memory) with a nice DUAL display card.
    FQ Greed: Money is no object! What’s the most outrageous gift money can buy on your dream list?
    A nice place on the west coast of Costa Rica. With high speed internet hookups and satellite TV and other “necessities”. Just to clarify, when I say west coast, I mean on the Ocean.

    I did actually look at my Amazon wishlist to see what there is that I “need”…

    From FridayQ

    Written By: Gary on October 15, 2004 No Comment

    M00550 SmYum! 80 hour Tivo with progressive DVD player and DVD recorder!!! Only $399 after rebates. Gotta get me one (or two) of these.

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    Written By: Gary on October 14, 2004 No Comment

    I love this show, for some reason I only watch it when I’ve got time on my laptop. It’s a show about a bunch of dysfunctional relationships. Dad died and the family is trying to run the family funeral home. The secretive gay brother who dates a cop. The “lost” sister who’s either confused or lost. The mom who feels too much guilt (I can’t give away why). The cool brother who dates the genius girlfriend with a possibly even more dysfunctional family.

    It’s hysterical. I think it’s still on HBO. Problem with viewing while traveling is that sometimes the funeral home gets a little graphic (minus) and there is nudity (sometimes not a minus). Check it out. The first few seasons are out on DVD.

    Written By: Gary on October 11, 2004 No Comment
    1. Who or what is on your computer’s wallpaper?
    Nothing (boring). It’s usually just distracting for me. I’ll set it after/during a vacation. The last was London.
    2. Go through your DVD/pre-bought video collection. Which three actors or actresses feature the most in them?
    Without looking, I’d say Drew Barrymore (Boys on the Side/Ever After). Now that I look I’d have to add Keanu Reeves (3 Matrix) and Liv Tyler (Armageddon/Stealing Beauty). My collection is pretty diverse. Unless it’s music I usually don’t buy DVDs, unless it’s a really good deal.
    3. Go through your book shelves. Which three authors have written the majority of the books?
    Diane Duane and Neil Gaiman and Mauve Binchey
    4. And what about CDs?
    Tori, Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan (they probably are who I have the most DVDs of too).
    5. Open up the picture folder(s) on your hard drive. Of which actor/actress/movie/tv series/musician do you have the most pictures?
    Hmm… Don’t really have a “picture” folder like that. Got a lot of stuff on the desktop I was using for posts: Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), David Pogue (geek), Joan of Arcadia, Wimbledon…

    Found at The Daily Meme.

    Written By: Gary on October 3, 2004 One Comment

    So I finally saw it! It was really excellent. Kind of a Beautiful Girls meets Lithium… Zach and Natalie were perfect for the parts he had this lost/numb look when needed and she’s hysterical. She seemed really young in the movie reminding me a lot of her character Marty in Beautiful Girls (but that was 8 years). I will need the DVD for the director’s commentary (and any extras). Even the not funny scenes were funny in some way. I laughed lots! Out loud.

    I always try to figure out what to say without giving up the movie… If you think you’ll like it, you probably will. It’s really got the gears turning in my head, I need the life altering experiences that some of the characters wen through so I can wake up and get moving with my life. Thanks to the motivators Maya and Jenni and everyone else whose been talking about this… I was halfway there when I remembered tissue, or more specifically that we didn’t have any, but I survived. The funny stuff offset the rest a bit…

    A few good quotes (not in any order): A friend’s mom:

    Oh… guys? Don’t stay in here all day. I had to take the batteries out of the carbon monoxide detector; it was beeping all night.

    Sam (Natalie):

    If you don’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a lot longer than you want it to.

    Andrew (Zach):

    We may not always be as happy as you always dreamed we’d be, but for once, let’s just allow ourselves to be whatever it is we are.

    Sam (Natalie):

    I know it hurts. But it’s life, and it’s real. And sometimes it fucking hurts, but it’s life, and it’s pretty much all we got.

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    Written By: Gary on June 9, 2004 One Comment
    1. What is the coolest movie gadget / prop you’d like to have in real life?
    The prop works!?! Just like in the movie?!? All sorts of sci-fi gizmos, gadgetry and starships flash before my eyes. Let’s be more practical… Maybe a Stepford Wife? The DeLorean from Back to the Future? A magic lamp with three wishes? Oh! I know! The gizmo Arnold and Danny used to make Arnold have a baby in Junior. Or I guess I could just use the lamp…
    2. What movie has your favorite / most passionate kiss scene?
    All I can keep thinking of is the scene from that thing you do When Faye (Liv Tyler) says, somekind

    I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you–kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don’t mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.

    But that’s really kind of a non-kissing scene. Maybe when Craig Stoltz finally kisses the Mary Stuart Masterson character (Watts) in Some Kind of Wonderful. (I need to think a little more on this one.) The first time Max kisses Liz on Roswell (but that’s not a movie…)

    3. What movie had the most impact on how you view life and why?
    flightnavI’ll give two answers.

    1. Flight of the Navigator (the best Disney movie ever, which finally just came out on DVD last week): Because it always makes me feel like a little kid. Every time I’ve seen it. and that’s worth something.
    2. Sabrina (the remake): I’ve always wanted to go to Paris after I saw that movie I kept thinking about it and a day (or two) later I realized “hey! I can go to Paris”, so I signed up for a French class and realized if I really wanted to do it I could, it really changed my perspective on things.

    From Wednesday Matinee.

    FYI, I never made it to Paris, got fed up learning the language, went to Prague instead. I’ve been to Costa Rica twice and England since, but still no Paris…

    Written By: Gary on May 30, 2004 No Comment

    You are given a gift of 1 million dollars (kindly adjust for currency in your location). There are some restrictions on how you can spend some of the money, as follows:

    $100,000 must be donated to charity. What charities will you support?
    Probably the two different shelters and the crisis hotline that I’ve volunteered for.
    $100,000 must be given to one person that you know. To whom do you give it? What would you expect him/her to do with it? Would you put any restrictions on its use? Would it make a difference if you could make the donation anonymously?
    Probably my Mom. She’d have to use it for travel (off of this continent) but I think I’d force her to learn computers first so she can take pictures and post, blog and send e-mail while she travels. She can take a friend, but she’s gotta take a different friend/relative on each trip(?)
    $100,000 must be given to someone who has recently been in the news. Who gets it? Why?
    Hmmm… I don’t watch/read enough news and everyone I hear about is bad… I’m sure I could find some deserving person/family who’s had some hard times, or needs something to get their business back together.
    $100,000 must be spent on a public beautification project. You can build a park, commission artwork, etc. What do you do, and where do you do it?
    There is a boring little park down the street that would be nice if it were redone maybe something with that.
    $100,000 must be spent on a memorial to someone/something that you have loved and lost. What form does the memorial take? Who is it for?
    The Frank Hill memorial computer lab / reference center for the Berkley Public Library (with WiFi). Grandpa got me interested to think about things: science, technology and to read a lot. I remember going up with him to that library when I was a kid.
    $50,000 must be spent studying something you have not formally studied. What will you study?
    Astronomy, I always wanted to understand it better.
    $50,000 must be spent establishing a scholarship. What’s it for and who will you name it for?
    It would be for students to offset school costs and to get them up-to-date with technology (nice laptop, printer, WiFi, PDA, iPod, TV, Stereo, subscription to NetFlix, iTunes store, etc.) so they can have some of the cool comforts…
    $50,000 must be given away in a contest. What kind of contest do you hold?
    A Michigan teacher web site contest. We’d supply space or they could use their own. They keep the site up for one school year. At the end we give five $10,000 prizes. Best content. Most updated (with real content). Best Design. Best Page/Post. One random (as long as they actively used it for a whole year).
    $200,000 must be spent doing as many things as you can on your “lifetime to do list.” Always wanted to see Alaska? Take a boat trip on the Rhine? What things would you do first?
    Travel like I never have before (and it’d all be first class!), some cruises, Paris, Egypt. Having a child is one my list so I’d be working on that too!
    That leaves you with $150,000 of mad money. If the rules say you can’t spend that money on things that might be termed “practical,” what do you buy on your spending spree?
    Geek out the house with more gizmos and such. Probably the same for the car (DVD/MP3/Player). One of those new infrared outdoor grills. TiVos, iMacs and home theater systems for all my family and friends. One of those cars that will go in the water like a boat. There isn’t much I need but I’m sure I could figure out a way to spend it.

    From Random Acts of Journalling

    Written By: Gary on May 23, 2004 No Comment
    1. What is your favorite color?
    Hmm.. I usually work with beige’s and browns not ’cause I like them but because they are easier to match… MY favorite color lately has probably been orange. I’ve got a few short-sleeve shirts, but my favorite is the bright orange sweat shirt that looks like it belonged to a cone on the side of the highway.
    2. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
    I llike my docker-like pants with all the pockets. Places for my keys, phone, camera, money and other things that I don’t have a place to put them since I don’t have a purse.
    3. Where is your favorite place to eat out?
    There are two chinese places in Lansing that I like Charlie Kangs (Beef Broccoli or Sweet and sour Shrimp) and J.P. Express (Pineapple Chicken). Locally I’ve been liking Friday’s (see below) and the bar around the corner from my place, Bamboozle’s.
    4. What is your favorite meal?
    I’d have to say one of the few listed above and I’ve really been liking Friday’s for some of the Jack Daniel’s meals at Friday’s. The best is the Sesame Jack Chicken Strips.
    5. What is your favorite sport or recreational game?
    No. I’m more of a Dominoes (or recently Scene It? the DVD game) kind of guy. Oh wait, can I count rollerblading?

    From Sunday Brunch

    Written By: Gary on May 21, 2004 No Comment
    1. What kind of computer do you have? Describe it for me! (Like how big is your hard drive, how much memory you have…)
    My main G4 PowerBook is work’s actually, but it’s be come my main one everywhere. The 12 inch screen makes it so portable! One GHz, 60GB, 768MB RAM, CD/DVD-R/W, 802.11G. It’s nice. It’ll plug into my cell phone for Internet access too! The desktop is pretty much the same thing without the wireless and a few extra external drives with a 1.3GHz G4 upgrade card. Remember that 1.3 GHz on a G4 is faster then a P4 (probably more like 2.0 (or 2.5?). And I have an XP machine mostly so I can synchronize my Palm OS phone and go to web sites that people weren’t capable of making OS X compatible…
    2. How long have you had your computer? Do you plan on getting a new one soon?
    The laptop is new, so no. The desktop recently got that upgrade card so I’ll wait a while for that. The XP machine is fast enough to sync my palm so no. I’d like something faster to control the music for my stereo…
    3. How many computers do you have in your home? Are they networked/firewalled?
    Hmm… I’ve got another old one running Linux (just for fun) and another old one controlling the music on my stereo. Firewalled? Heck yeah, I’ve got two hardware firewalls. They’re cheap enough these days! Battery backups (on everything) and an alarm system to go with the rest of it.

    From Weekend Wonderings

    Written By: Gary on May 15, 2004 No Comment

    These questions are from Laura at the saturday-8.

    1. today i am going to see the movie “troy,” as it stars my favourite actor of all time, the british sex god sean bean (says laura). are you planning on seeing it? why or why not?
    Not really. It looks really long. I’d like to see the Trojan Horse scene though (duh!).
    2. the other day i purchased gas for $2.07 per gallon. i about threw up. what is the current gas price in your area? (please specify grade)
    I put in 87 octane. It’s just gone over the $2.00 mark, which just kills me. I’m thinking I was seeing $2.03 and $2.07, this was the Deaborn (Detroit, MI) area.
    3. sean bean is my lust, and the german actor thomas kretschmann comes in at a close second. who are your first and second actor/actress “loves”?
    Liv Tyler: ever since Stealing Beauty and Mary Louise Parker: ever since Fried Green Tomatoes. I’ll add Julia Stiles (but I don’t know what I first saw her in) to that list too, since #5 just made me think of her too…
    4. i am going to canada via syracuse, ny in july, and had to purchase my tickets WAAAAAAY early because we’re afraid the ticket prices will go up dramatically due to the rising oil prices. are you travelling this summer on a vacation?
    I keep thinking I need to make some plans. Chicago? Toranto? London?
    5. is there any movie this summer that you’re looking to see this summer, or any books you want to read that are going to be printed & released this summer? tell us about them…
    I’m looking forward to Spiderman 2, which is funny since I wasn’t looking that forward to the first and it wasn’t that incredible. I’ve been liking Will Smith’s movies so maybe I, Robot will be good. I just saw a preview for The Borne Identity sequel (Borne Supremacy?) looks fun too.
    6. what is your favourite vacation destination, and why?
    Costa Rica! It’s warm, relaxed and it’s got two oceans! It’s really enjoyable, the not knowing Spanish is a little troublesome sometimes but dealable. The people are friendly and it’s warm.
    7. have you heard about netflix.com? if so, have you joined/are you planning to join, and why/why not?
    I’ve tried it a few times before. It’s excellent if you watch a lot of movies, I should give it a try again, it’s been a while. I liked it better when it was just individual rentals. (For those who don’t know what it is: $20 a month gets you three DVD rentals as soon as you return one, they send out the next on your list. Postage is included).
    8. are you a good flier? i have problems on takeoff, but landing and flying are no problem.
    Flying is generally no problem (a little air sick, but rarely). It’s dealing with the airports and security that makes me crazy, showing up two hours early for a ninety minute flight is counter-productive. I love the train, just show up a few minutes before, no parking problems, lots of room, very relaxinf.
    Written By: Gary on April 18, 2004 7 Comments

    Here’s my 100 things about me page. (If you’re looking for my 101 in 1001 days list go here.) To follow the theme that I’ve found on many other sites, partially to see what I come up with and to let others see what I come up with. I’ve broken this down a bit: I like, I dislike, I am, I’ve live in, I wish I understood more about, places I’ve been and before I die…

    It’s interesting how many of these things I’ve blogged about so far…

    UPDATE: December 2004/June 2005. I just came here to update this. I can’t believe how much it has not changed. The only other things are I’ve been liking my iPod (and listening to podcasting), the Scene It? DVD games and maybe some additional music groups (Katy Rose and maybe a few others) and I won’t add them until they’ve been around a bit longer. Probably “Two and a Half Men” (I laugh SO hard) and Liz Phair (added).

      I like:

    1. Riding on the train
    2. Driving with the top down
    3. The Internet
    4. MSU
    5. Ice cream (Cookie Dough from QD)
    6. Rollerblading
    7. Sunshine
    8. My family
    9. Kids
    10. Babies
    11. Picnics
    12. Coca-Cola
    13. Gadgets and gizmos
    14. Taking pictures
    15. Tori
    16. Sarah
    17. Indigo Girls
    18. Liz Phair
    19. Jewel
    20. 80’s music
    21. _Joan of Arcadia
    22. Sports Night
    23. Roswell
    24. The American President
    25. The Cutting Edge
    26. A Christmas Story
    27. Flight of the Navigator
    28. Narnia
    29. Time Travel
    30. Reading
    31. Movies
    32. Dominoes
    33. Scrabble
    34. Euchre
    35. Sitting by the river
    36. Learning
    37. Volunteering
    38. M & M’s
    39. Smarties (the chocolate kind)
    40. Prizes in Cereal
    41. Soda Pop in a bottle
    42. Fun Size Candy
    43. Macintosh
    44. My i500 Palm Phone
    45. Tivo
    46. WiFi
    47. The Ocean
    48. Maps
    49. Luggage
    50. Books
    51. Ice Skating
    52. Sleeping
    53. Building a fire
    54. The Moon
    55. Stars
    56. Laughing
    57. Holding hands
    58. Crushes
    59. Traveling
    60. Smiles
    61. Showers
    62. Clean sheets
    63. Surprises

      I dislike:

    64. Pickles
    65. Mayo
    66. Mean people
    67. Sauces on my sandwiches
    68. Country
    69. Being stuck at airports
    70. Traffic

      I am:

    71. An only child
    72. Smart
    73. Tall
    74. Curly
    75. Goofy
    76. A night owl
    77. Was born on September 11th

      I’ve lived in:

    78. Royal Oak
    79. Berkley (21 years)
    80. Southfield (a 1/2 year)
    81. East Lansing (7 years)
    82. Haslett (4 years)
    83. Southgate (1 year)
    84. Dearborn (4 years)

      I wish I understood more about:

    85. Astronomy
    86. Women
    87. Art

      Places I’ve been:

    88. United States (all over)
    89. Canada (Toronto 5 times; all over several)
    90. England (3 times)
    91. Prague
    92. Costa Rica (2 times)

      Before I die I want to:

    93. Have kids
    94. See Paris
    95. Take a cruise across the ocean
    96. Find out what is out there
    97. See the pyramids
    98. Write a computer book
    99. Live happily ever after
    100. Find out “Why?”
    Written By: Gary on April 10, 2004 No Comment

    I’ve seen this one everywhere but never found the original source, but I’ll try it anyways… (Can anyone tell me the original source?)

    1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: “But our role is to be cautious. We have the welfare of”
    2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first? A coffee table with 5 remotes (DVD, TV, a non-so-Universal, TiVo and one for the lights) and the book I just grabbed.
    3. What is the last thing you watched on TV? Kim Possible, she’s way cool.
    4. WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what time it is: 3:30 PM
    5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time? 4:40 PM
    6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? My Tivo and a (different) computer that runs my CD changers as a jukebox.
    7. When did you last step outside? what were you doing? An hour ago. Checking the (snail) mail. Just a bunch of spam.
    8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at? My E-mail. Sigh, nothing new. Somehow I liked it better before I filtered my spam. It was never empty!
    9. What are you wearing? While t-shirt and boxers (blue-ish plaid).
    10. Did you dream last night? Not that I recall.
    11. When did you last laugh? Today at Target (store), laughing at some teenage girls trying to convince a little girl/sister that she didn’t need both toys. The older girls lost.
    12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? East (the way I’m facing) – is four windows and a bookcase (with photos, CDs, DVDs, college degrees and a shelf for remotes) . South – some photos I took in Praha (Prague) and a mirror (housewarming gift) and a staircase. West – I I don’t really have a wall there, it’s kinda open and eventually you hit the sliding glass door to the balcony/porch. North – a book case and about a bjillion post-it notes of various colors as I was trying to kind of map out a history of technology and implementation.
    13. Seen anything weird lately? A lot of weird web sites dedicated to marshmallow Peeps…
    14. What do you think of this quiz? Pretty good so far…
    15. What is the last film you saw? "Butterfly Effect"! I thought it was excellent. Off to see "13 going on 30" tonite.
    16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first? Cruise tickets for friends and family. FYI, this would be two separate cruises! I might be slightly mean and make it educational – buy them all PowerBooks and digital cameras and make it be a MacMania cruise.
    17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know: I’ve got a birthmark that my mom thought was dirt when I was little and she says she used to scrub it and scrub it..
    18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? Make everyone the same shade of blue and all speak the same language (Esperanto?) with no accent. I’m also thinking about a book I bought (but haven’t read) about an invention that makes all gunpowder on the planet turn inert. Or maybe just turn the top 10% of “bad” people on the planet inert…
    19. Do you like to dance? Yes, when I get enough encouragement.
    20. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? a boy? Nothing that I’m concerned about about at this point.
    21. Would you ever consider living abroad? Yes! Every time I go to another country I mull it around for a while. The one that really sticks is Costa Rica, I couldn’t tell you how often I think “sell it all, pack up and move”.
    Written By: Gary on April 4, 2004 No Comment

    I wish I hadn’t gone to see this. I wish I had waited for the DVD. Why? buterflyeffect Because if I had waited for the DVD I could replay the few scenes I had questions about over and over again. And more importantly I could see the deleted scenes; I’m certain there are at least two and they would answer my other few questions. Why? Becuase the movie takes care of all the little details and I’m sure they didn’t forget these few, I figure they were editied out and I have to know the rest because I enjoyed this movie so much. BUT it’s not even out on DVD yet! This was a great flick.

    You need to understand two things: Chaos Theory and Time Travel (both relativly simple concepts, not).

    1. Time travel – If you travel into the past don’t interfere with anything you may screw up the future. I.E. don’t go to watch your parents meet for the first time since just being there to observe you may do something to influence the outcome. (Almost a Heisenberg/Schroding dilemma which is you will influence the outcome).
    2. Chaos Theory – It is said that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Chicago can create a hurricane in Peking. I.E. If you stop and buy gum on the way to watch your parents meet, it may be the last pack of gum that your mother-to-be can’t buy and now when she meets your dad-to-be she has bad breath and he doesn’t ask her out and you vanish in a puff of smoke.

    It’s a great movie, it’s my favorite movie concept, time-travel, and as such it offers many what ifs. The only downside, it was kind of violent and I almost want to say it was in an unnecessary way, but I’m sure that without it, it might have changed how I viewed the movie.

    I have to also say I laughed the absolute hardest I’ve ever laughed in a movie in my life. One scene was so ironic it hit me all the way to my funny bone. I hope I used ironic correctly (I think it’s ironic that most people use the word ironic incorrectly, I hope I used it right the third time too).

    Written By: Gary on April 1, 2004 3 Comments

    A quick evaluation on whether a technology is good or not. That is a pretty short evaluation and I like it (it’s short, it’s powerful and it meets my 3 second attention span requirement). I got this from a Mike Rohde blog entry that was referring to a Howard Rheingold article quoting an Amish person as to why cell phones are okay for them. It’s got to be causing some conflict for them, remember cell phones are a lot more these days than just phones they are e-mail, web browsers, PDAs, video games, calulators, cameras, mp3 players, etc… and some of those functions are standard these days. The Amish aren’t the focus of my entry but they are the round about source of the quote.

    Back to the quote: “Does it bring us together, or draw us apart?” – While it is a nice short evaluation on technology, the continuum between the two ends of the spectrum leaves a lot of grey area. But I’ve been thinking about it every since I read the entry. Computers (sans Internet) can take people away from the people they know. The Internet can bring them the world but also take them away from people they know. But for some it could be a creative outlet – photography, music, movies, art design. This could be what brings them out.

    My question is what are some very clear technologies that fit at one end of our spectrum or another?
    There is no research here, I’m just making it up as I go along (so don’t get upset with me).

  • Digital Photography – probably brings people together more.
  • Video games / on-line gaming – probably separates the gamer from live people (but more virtual friends).
  • Laptop Computers – possibly keeps you in touch but at the cafe and resturant and airplane you probably aren’t paying attention to the world around you (where the people are). This is probably true with handheld video games, cd/mp3 players, PDAs, text messaging, etc. also. You could probably say about regular old paper books too.
  • DVD Players / Home Theatre – this could be social or not just depends if you stay home instead of going out or if you have friends over. As the technology gets better, why leave the house?

    No big conclusion, just thoughts about the topic. If you think of any please leave me a note.

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