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TV shows (or maybe TVs) that I like or did not like.

Written By: Gary on November 12, 2007 17 Comments

On The Big Bang Theory tonight they mentioned “WalletNook.com“. So. of course, I tried to go to the site. Here’s my question: Why would Warner Borthers purchase WalletNook.com and not create a page there at least to redirect you to The Big Bang Theory page? Or even sell that wallet?

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (DOM-1708796)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522 US

Umm… No, I wasn’t going to buy it if it was available…

Written By: Gary on October 25, 2007 No Comment

I especially liked this week’s episode of Bionic Woman and I think it’s due to the fact that they totally ignored the “evil Bionic Woman” story-line.

Although, like many of the guys on the show, I was enjoying the English accent too…

Update: I think of the strangest things in the shower, (I need to keep a pad of paper in there because I’m sure a lot of good ideas go down the drain), but something about about Michelle Ryan’s English accent popped into my head: She’s from the BBC’s “Jekyll” (and Hyde), she played his/their assistant/handler, and it turns out that she’s from England. That certainly explains the great accent…

Written By: Gary on October 4, 2007 No Comment

I love movie trailers, I could watch them all day at the theatre, at the QuickTime site or on AppleTV. And I like TV previews for shows coming next season.

But I can’t stand TV previews for the next week. I’ll generally leave the room if other people are watching or skip over them. Occasionally I’ll catch them (and occasional they’ll excite me) but usually I’ll pass. I think it’s that they give away too much of the plot of the show and depending on the show, I don’t feel like I need to watch it (I guess). I just watched the show, if that’s not enough to get me to come back next week the preview probably won’t.

Speaking of trailers, have you seen:

  • Iron Man
  • The Nines (which had a very limited release, not in MI yet)
  • Beowulf
  • Feast of Love (which I didn’t realize opened last week)
  • Written By: Gary on October 1, 2007 2 Comments

    So I have some conflicts on Monday nights.

  • Chuck
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Heroes
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Journeyman
  • Two and a Half Men

    I’m sure some of it will start to get old but right now it’s kind of entertaining.

    That’s four-and-a-half hours of TV in three hours, but if I FF through the commercials, I can probably do it in 3.

    I really like Chuck but I think it’ll start to get old. And I’m certain Journeyman will get older sooner. The other 1/2 hour shows will be handy for something to watch while I’m eating breakfast or maybe at lunch via the laptop….

  • Written By: Gary on September 30, 2007 One Comment

    So I finally got around to watching it. I know it’s been sitting there for days but I just didn’t get to it until now. And the bonus is I can probably say anything about the episode without ruining it for anyone since I’m sure everyone else has seen it.

    I was highly entertained. I liked them all dealing with their own interns. Lots of action going on (although some parts seemed really slow). Izzie and the deer was silly story-line, but I enjoyed it. Lexie telling George to just suck it up, you just delivered a baby and how cool is that. I’m really liking Lexie’s character so far but I’m thinking the ‘Meridith is my sister’ stuff is going to get old. She reminds me of someone but I’ve never seen her in anything. Thinking about it, the good story-lines were all George, Izzie and Lexie this episode.

    But the one thing that kept bugging me all episode was that we all know, in the long run, George is not going to stay with Callie and how long are they going to drag this out. I just don’t see them staying together; I don’t know if that means that he’ll end up with Izzie, but I don’t see them together (they’ve never been a good plot-line) and I just don’t want them dragging the story-line out for the next few seasons. And then there was the that last scene of the show (which I won’t mention just in case you haven’t seen it yet)…

    I gotta say though, the first season was the best season and it’ll be hard for them to beat it. The characters were fresh and they didn’t need any gimmicks for the show and it was just different somehow. They sure jammed a lot into the 9 episode season! Back then Meridith used to be a whole lot cuter because as time went on you found out just how screwed up she really was (is); so that TV crush has kinda gone bye-bye…

    Written By: Gary on September 29, 2007 No Comment

    What a pleasant surprise to notice that the season premiere of Stargate Atlantis was in my now playing list this morning, I didn’t ever realize the new season started last night. Since Stargate SG-1 ended last season, Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) will on Atlantis now so we’ll get to see her bicker more with Rodney. And the lovely Jewel Staite will be sticking around fro (at least) the whole season as Dr. Jennifer Keller (Jewel most recently played Kaylee on Serenity / Firefly).

    Lots of action and effects. It was a non-stop episode and I really enjoyed it. But I’m completely tired of the replicators, it’s just time for a new villain, or just a season of StarTrek-type exploration. And I’ll miss Daniel Jackson…

    Semi-spoiler – I just noticed someone missing from the splash page at http://www.scifi.com/atlantis/, that must not happen for a episode or two yet…

    Written By: Gary on September 24, 2007 3 Comments

    So I just kept thinking while watching this episode that the tough girl looked an awful lot like Mandy Moore. Then I saw in the credits that Mandy Moore did one of the songs and thought that was a coincidence. Duh! It really was Mandy Moore on the show.

    But the best part was at the end, when they showed you the http://www.SlapCountDown.com/ web site!!! (If you didn’t watch the show last season, I can’t explain it).On a semi-related note, Mandy Moore and Rachael Yamagata are playing in Detroit tomorrow. I’m not really sure what Mandy sings, but I’m sure I’d recognize something, but I really like Rachel. I sure wish that I felt better already…

    Written By: Gary on September 15, 2007 One Comment

    BigbangtheoryThe first episode of Big Bang Theory is now available as a free┬ádownload from Amazon Unbox. You can put it on your TiVo(!) or on your PC. Supposedly there are other CBS show for free but I can’t find them…

    This is an awesome show. It’s about a few geeks (science dorks) and the cute (but ditzy) girl next door. If you know any geeks you’ll love this show. It’s by the guy who did Two and a Half Men (and I think Dharma and Greg).

    I’m sure this is only free for a limited time….

    Written By: Gary on September 10, 2007 3 Comments

    ChuckjourneymanYou can see Journeyman, Chuck, Life and Bionic Woman for Free with Amazon UnBox. This means you can download them straight to your TiVo and watch them on the big screen (or you can download them to a PC, but I’ve never done that) for a limited time. I haven’t seen Life yet, but I’ve seen the other three: Chuck is awesome, Journeyman is excellent, Bionic Woman is luke-warm but I’ll give it a chance (and you can see for yourself!).

    On a side note, this ties to NBC cutting ties or getting pissed at the iTunes music store (I can’t remember why) and are now partnering with Amazon. I have no idea how long this offer might last or if the link will last but this is a permanent (I think) link to Amazon Unbox.Lifebionic

    Amazon Unbox is an interesting service, more so for your TiVo than your PC (IMHO). You can rent high-quality movies for about $3.99 each, but each weekend they offer a half-dozen 99 cent ones (some are new and some are old), so keep your eyes open for those. Rentals are on your machine for 30 days but once you start to watch you only have 24 hours to finish (or re-watch it). Personally, I think 24 hours is too short, it needs to be about 36 hours; if I start to watch a movie Sunday afternoon at 4 and don’t finish it, I’m probably not going to be home from work in time the next day to finish it. I really think they need to extend the 24 hours (which is starting to be an industry standard) to about 36 hours (48?) or figure out some way to get another $1 out of me so that I can keep it for another day). It’s just more consumer friendly, it’s not like I’ve got the media and they need it to rent to another person.So back to the free previews. It’s a very cool marketing idea. But here’s my question – why aren’t there any ads?!? They could be making money off of this (or at least advertising their fall line-up). They need to explore this so that they can explore this delivery medium and realize that free to the consumer is good. That’s the whole model of television, free with commercials. If they gave it away free they could probably even rig it to force you to watch the commercials (or just the first few seconds) so they know they are getting their money’s worth. But as always, I hope they figure out a way to target the commercials to me (I don’t need tampons or Cialis, I need Apple products and movie previews). Just a thought…

    Written By: Gary on August 22, 2007 No Comment

    I just finally got around to watching some David Letterman and Conan O”Brian episodes, I grab them if they have a guest I like and coincidentally Anne Hathaway was on the two I picked in the TiVo. She’s always fun (she was the one who made The Princess Diaries so fun) and has such an awesome smile in just about everything (movie or interview) that I’ve seen her in. She’s currently in Becoming Jane playing Jane Austin which I think is now on my list that I’ve seen a few more clips on it. She’s also in the new Get Smart film playing Barbara Feldman’s role as Agent 99.

    I usually think of her as beautiful but she was way more than that on Letterman (the stunning dress probably helped), Dave even asked her where she was going after the show, since she was clearly too much for his show (“It’s just for you Dave”). Here’s the clip.

    Usually on these interviews I never notice the guest drink out of the glass in front of them, but on both Letterman and Conan I noticed drinking out of her mug all the time. I’m not sure why that’s sticking with me so much but it really keeps popping back into my head.

    I think I’m off to see Becoming Jane this week…

    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 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 June 24, 2007 No Comment

    So it’s the weekend so it’s time for me to talk about Doctor Who again. It was part two of the three part season finale. It’s a little long to stretch a story but they’ve been keeping up with the action (in Dr. Who action means lots of running).

    But one of the parts I really liked was when they were doing flashbacks to the Time Lord’s home world some of the imagery clearly showed

  • A stone-like circle that was clear supposed to look The Guardian of Forever which was was the time portal from Star Trek’s classic “The City on the Edge of Forever”
  • A being that looked like The Watchers the omni-potent beings from from Marvel comics.
  • A few more images that I didn’t recognize but probably have some sci-fi/time travel significance.

    I enjoy it when shows throw things like that in to make the fans pay attention and have to go back and rewind the show. Did anyone recognize any of the other images?

  • Written By: Gary on June 9, 2007 One Comment

    As you all know I love time-travel, and while never being a Doctor Who fan this new (started in 2005) series is just brilliant! In case you didn’t know, the new Doctor Who is produced (and sometimes written) by Russell T. Davies (Queer as Folk and Torchwood) so it’s not your grandpa’s sci-fi show (and neither is Torchwood which runs later at night). Steven Moffat wrote this week’s episode as well as several other episodes, some older shows (but I’m not sure if they were specials or radio shows), many episodes of Coupling (US and UK) and more.

    This week’s episode is just full of non-stop action and non-stop paradoxes and is just excellent! It’s kinda scary too(!), I think that’s what makes it seem so non-stop. This episode barely shows the main characters and instead focuses on a woman from London outside the normal time-line of The Doctor and Martha. As she’s piecing things together it’s very entertaining since you know it’s going to all going to tie up neatly by the end. But one of the best parts is when he’s explaining the non-linerarity of time and says “it’s like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff” and it makes complete sense to the viewer; it’s then you know the writers are doing something right..

    The other good line is when Sally’s talking about talking pictures of old things (which makes her sad) and her friend asks her “What’s good about sad?” and Sally responds with “It’s happy for deep people”…

    And the extra bonus is that starting next week (for 3 episodes) we have the return of Captain Jack Harkness!

    Written By: Gary on May 21, 2007 3 Comments

    They left you hanging with some new story lines but they completed a story, I really applaud them for that. I’m so sick of the never ending (non) stories.

    I was pretty happy with Heroes – Season 1, a tale of life, sacrifice, hope and (of course) saving the world. It’s pretty hard to get a good super-hero show to stick on prime-time, so I can deal with the minuses. What I really liked about it was they ended the story and those that did save the world were really heros. I was surprised at all the death the last few episodes, but at least now you don’t have to worry too much about those story-lines…

    And how about those previews!!!! Harry Potter, THe Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer and (did you wait until the very end?) the Bionic Woman! And I’m kinda wondering what extras are going to be on the DVD…

    So, possible mysteries for the future: (semi-spoliers below, if you haven’t watched it, don’t read them, although they don’t directly give anything away)

  • When Candice was knocked out, what that what she really looked like?
  • Is Molly cured?
  • Who can see Molly when she looks for them?
  • How does Molly’s power work? Does any atlas work? Does the scale matter?
  • What’s Grandma’s power?
  • Who’s going to look after Molly?
  • How screwed up is Claire’s Mom mind (and where is she)?
  • Does Hiro become his own own (self-fulfilling) hero?
  • How long will Hiro’s new story-line last? (Not too long, I think/hope)
  • Will Syler be back? (I hope not, he was the lamest part)
  • What was/is Charles’ power?
  • When Peter was unconscious was he in the past?
  • Will any of the injured people die? (probably not, IMHO)
  • Written By: Gary on May 9, 2007 No Comment

    I thought this was funny. I usually ignore these but I clicked this one…

    It was titled Funny Father Daughter Dance “A Wonderful White Wedding”. It takes a minute to get to the good part but it’s definitely different for a wedding.

    On a (completely unrelated) side note Wedding Crashers is a kinda funny candid camera show on Monday Nights. You need to fast forward through the talking parts but the practical jokes are pretty good. If you’ve only seen it this week, try it again this weeks episode was kinda weak…

    Written By: Gary on May 2, 2007 2 Comments

    So I’ve gotten more than a few people hitting my site from search engines from the word “Comcast” and since I just adjusted my plan (again) I thought I’d mention my current Comcast plans and maybe save y’all a few bucks. First I’ll mention that I try to pay attention to recurring costs and utilities especially paying attention to my cable / internet bills since they are more of a luxury that heat or electricity.

    If you don’t care about (possibly) saving money, don’t read the rest of this…Cable TV – I generally just get econo-basic, it’s generally available on most cable systems (I think many cities/townships require a cheap plan in the contract), it’s just generally the first 20-30 channels on the cable system, it’s on $12 (on my system) and usually doesn’t require a cable box (on most systems). I don’t want many more channels than that so it suites me fine. I think the next package up these days is $29.99 so that’s a big jump if I don’t want all those channels anyways. Here’s the thing if you want internet, the prices there quote for internet are $15 more if you don’t have cable so it’s really $3 cheaper to have cable TV with your cable internet.

    Remember, just because one sales person doesn’t know about a service doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If someone can’t help you, call back later and check with them.

    HD TV – So on top of the econo-basic I pay $7 a month for an HD box (it just jumped up from $5), this gets me most of the major networks and a few more channels in HD. Please note, I do not have a HD TV, so I don’t get the full benefit, but it does look like it’s DVD quality (it’s definitely better than digital cable).

    Cable Internet – Every 6 to 12 months I call and complain about the rates ($43 a month 6,000 down/384 up). I mention other offers (competing companies and DSL) and they usually drop my bill about $5-$15 a month for the next 6-12 months. Last time I called they offered me the deluxe service for $30 a month and this was 8,000 down/768 up so I took the offer. It’s normally $53 a month but it was a promotion and this expired this week so I canceled it. I do notice it’s a little slower (I actually think it’s the slower up speed that I’m noticing) but I’m debating if it’s worth $120 a year for the faster speed…

    And don’t forget you can buy your own cable modem and save $3-$5 a month. If signing up for new service (via Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc.) you can generally get these for free after rebate so it’s really worth doing…

    Here’s the thing when I called yesterday to change the plan they said they didn’t have any other packages (besides these 6,000 and 8,000) but I just checked my bill to verify these costs for this post and I seen they have a 4,000 (4 meg) plan (the bill was clarifying the names of the new plans starting May 1). FYI, they usually offer a $25 service too that’s 384 down (I think it’s 384 up), that’s not too fast but it’s better than dial-up (and it’s always on).

    UPDATE: Tonight, no one seemed to think the 384 down service still exists, which is very funny since they just renamed it to “Economy”. So I’ve had two people tell me the Performance Lite at 4,000 (4 Meg) is $25 ($24.95 actually) in my area so I switched to it (that would really be some savings from $43 a month). But when they switched me I’m just getting 384 up and down, I’ve had this happen before when they’ve offered plans to me. So, it turns out that he thought that it’s an either the Economy (384 down) or the Performance Lite (4,000 down); both are $25 a month, I will be calling back in a few weeks to double-check that is really the case. But they did give me $5 off a month for the next 12 months for the time it took (about 50 minutes) so that’s something; I’d rather have had 4,000 down for $25 a month…

    So the end result of tonight’s call is that 4,000 down for $24.95 (performance lite from Comcast) is not an option in my area but it might be in yours (or a similar plan from your company). Just test it while you’re on the phone to make sure it’s really that fast before you hang up…

    Written By: Gary on April 12, 2007 No Comment

    KurtvonSince it’s Kurt Vonnegut who passed away yesterday we’ll link to his Wikipedia entry since there should be some content about him. He was an interesting and bizzaro author, you should try a few of his books if you haven’t. But what inspired this post is two things, both of them odd and very unrelated.

    I hadn’t realized he died yesterday until I got an ad from Border’s Books today trying to sell books in his memory (there was more but it had this at the top of the e-mail ad). I’m not sure if it’s in good taste or not and I remember them doing a few other things like this and while it might be good marketing I’m not sure about the taste part.

    Ardvil-22So I never (rarely) watch television previews for next week but last night I did watch them during Lost. As usual they jumped around a lot during the preview and I saw it something for an instant and something seemed off. So I rewound the TiVo, this took about 5 tries since it was only a few frames but I saw a cover of a book. The book was “Ardil-22” (which is Catch-22 in Portuguese) which was written by Kurt Vonnegut Joseph Heller. I’m not sure if this was a coincidence or someone had time to edit it in yesterday at ABC or what. But in hindsight it’s a pretty odd coincidence that it was just a few frames of the preview. I can’t recall if Lost has ever mentioned Kurt Vonnegut (or Joseph Heller) before…

    LATER – SO I TOTALLY SCREWED THIS UP: Since it turns out Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 and not Kurt Vonnegut (Sorry Kurt) but while I’ve read several of Kurt’s books, I don’t think I ever read Catch-22. Plus it turns out that “Catch-22” is the title of the next episode of Lost so that’s the reasoning for that. So I’ve totally goofed up the second 1/2 of this message. There were no coincidences for me to see. And I thought I had tied this together all pretty good too :(

    Written By: Gary on April 8, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m really liking the 2007 season of Doctor Who, the second episode of “The Shakespeare Code” was excellent. They’re still introducing the new character, Martha Jones, and it’s working out well, IMHO. I’m trying to figure out how many of the jokes are inside jokes since I’ve watched for two seasons and how many people will get it on the first time around. As I’ve said before they do ignore the technical details about how things work which they illustrated with this episode by having Martha ask all sorts of questions about the time machine and paradoxes by pretty much ignoring them or saying don’t worry…

    So they went back in time and had an adventure with William Shakespeare, I’ve never been a huge fan but I do appreciate that all the right people say he’s a genius and I accept that, especially since a lot of writers I really enjoy think he’s a genius. So it’s great that they had a character like The Doctor actually thinks he’s a genius and treated him as such. Lots of Shakespeare jokes, makes me wonder if I missed any…1

    Plus, there were a few Harry Potter jokes/references that I thought were great. But I’m getting tired of the Rose references already three episodes now (the first two of the season and the Christmas special which kinda took place between seasons) and while I loved Rose, if we’re going to ignore much of the science (and concentrate on the story) then maybe they should ignore the fact that he’s lost Rose.

    Written By: Gary on April 4, 2007 No Comment

    I wasn’t ever a Doctor Who fan (not even a bit), a friend mentioned it to me more than a few times but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But then they started running a new series a few years ago and it seemed okay, but then I started watching it from the beginning of the 2005 season and it was really good. I really enjoy the humor, just a little British with a lot of wit; some of with wit is just barely acknowledged and then they move along (so sometimes you miss it).

    This is a perfect episode to start watching the series, it’s the first episode of season three (2007), it’s called ‘Smith and Jones’. She’s Dr. Martha Jones and he checked into the hospital under the name ‘Smith’. The Doctor is a bit out of sorts having lost his last traveling companion (Rose) but the show always has sidekick so we get to be introduced to the new companion. She’s a medical doctor in training who doesn’t get too freaked out about with the strange things that happen and she’ll probably be a great asset to the show. So it kind of re-introduces you to the main characters.

    Since the series was restarted they’ve changed both the doctor and his companion/assistant; it’s the start of year two for the doctor and the first episode with the new assistant. The 2005 Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, has been playing the invisible man on Heroes season one. I haven’t seen Rose on anything else yet. Some people will refer to this (2007) as the third season but some die hards will refer to it as the 29th season. I think the BCC is who restarted the numbering but I’m not sure why (but it’s probably due to a 15 year gap in the series).The Doctor is a quirky guy, smart (but seems flaky), a bit egotistical but he usually knows what he’s doing; he’s played by David Tennant and is the tenth Doctor in the series. He’s also the last of The Time Lords, his time ship which used to camouflage itself to fit in the environment got stuck looking like a 1960’s police call-box and liked it so he’s never fixed that (besides humans never noticed out o place things like that). The assistant is usually pretty helpful, not apt to panic and in some episodes is the one that saves the day. The thing to keep in mind is there isn’t always a lot of continuity between the episodes and some of the “science stuff” isn’t explained completely and won’t be; it’s a show for fun not to be over analyzed like the physics of Star Trek (or insert your geeky series here). And FYI his “sonic screwdriver” is the Dr. Who trademark tool to fix things, open doors and other oddities; it’s really the only thing he carries around everywhere.

    I don’t think anyone in the US has picked up season 3 yet so if you don’t get the BBC I think the only direction to send you is to a torrent site. (I’ve checked iTunes, Amazon unBoxed, SciFi channel, PBS and it just doesn’t seem like any stations are carrying season three yet.)

    Written By: Gary on April 1, 2007 One Comment

    So all of a sudden you look out the window and you realize that somehow you, and the building you are in, just got transported to the Moon. Do you:

    Start running, screaming and freaking out
    OR
    Do you think something like “how cool is this!?!”

    I’m all for the second choice! Getting home and lack of oxygen are potential problems, but let’s look around in case you get transported back to plain ol’ boring Earth, okay?

    It’s the Moon!!! How cool would that be?!?

    Written By: Gary on March 12, 2007 No Comment

    Bsg LogoSo you can be in your own mini episode of Battlestar Galactica! Here’s a few sample videos (both with a Cylon fetish). But if you go here you can get footage, music and sound effects to create your own video. Kinda neat, especially since you can probably use any editing software to put it all together.

    Written By: Gary on March 9, 2007 No Comment

    Yes, I said Season Premiere. We all just watched the finale so now it’s time to reveal the next season. I think it’s kind of obvious that there is only a few ways this can go.

    Unfortunately, I cannot speculate without giving away the season finale, so beware the spoilers!!

  • Mike was obviously chasing the wrong plane. So there is still a chance. If he wasn’t then Sam doesn’t have a chance, she can’t help herself (even if she gets free she’s too weak/cramped/exhausted.
  • Delinda obviously wasn’t there at the time. We’re not ending that character at this point, she’s been so important (in the story-lines) this season. (He finally believed her and she left and he started to disable it and it went off).
  • Who is the killer? Since there is reasonable doubt who actually did the killing they’ll all get off somehow. Miraculously all the guns were the same caliber so they won’t be able to figure out who fired the fatal shot.
  • And I see Jillian buying the Monticedo. That solves all her problems since she can get her way now.
  • And the robbery, the one with the machine guns, didn’t happen. That was cut into the security footage as a distraction.

    So that’s everything tied up in a nice little ball. The only things that need to be fixed is the floors that had the explosion and the charges/case to figure out who the killer is. That’ll take a few episodes to clear up and we’re done.

    And there’s always the possibility that Casey isn’t dead…

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    Written By: Gary on February 25, 2007 28 Comments

    It’s kind of a simple question, but I can’t find a specific answer. Do the terms, WhiteList and BlackList, that we commonly use these days to block/allow e-mail, web sites and comments have racist origins?

    I can’t find the answer. I think about it every time I modify instructions for our mail filtering at work, just waiting for someone to ask me, but I can’t find an answer anywhere on the history of it. I’ve found some things when looking on-line related to hollywood (usually political writing) and on blackballing people (also from work or organizations) but nothing on the origins of the word even in that context.

    I’ve seen some software FAQs skate around it with some stupid explanations to avoid the issue, but I think red + green universally mean stop + go so greenlist and redlist makes sense and since we don’t have green people it wouldn’t be considered racist (or even incorrectly thought to be). Maybe this is a non-issue, but I’m wondering what you think.There are tons of options: stop/go, allow/deny, junk/non-junk, etc. Also, even if it doesn’t have racist origins if people perceive it to be, then how much of a difference is there.

    Later: Ah, I found this and I do recall part of the origins of blackball, (I knew this already, I just forgot that I knew it) but it’s still not an answer.

    Written By: Gary on February 21, 2007 One Comment

    So some different things got me thinking about Roswell: Quite often Grey’s Anatomy does since Katherine Heigl was one of the stars. So that started me thinking about the TV series Roswell and I started surfing around stumbled along THE video clip (to set this clip up, you need to know that Max and Liz didn’t know each other well but secretly had crushes, two men get in an argument in the Crashdown Cafe, a gun goes off, Liz falls to the ground and Max runs to her side) where it all started . It was a great series but it only made it three seasons, which is actually pretty good for sci-fi.
    Roswell60Th
    And then I remembered that the Roswell UFO Festival is this summer (as always) but this year is 60 years since the aliens crashed there. The biggest coverup since well, since anything else. This is the reason as to why they always dismiss UFO sightings as ‘weather balloons’ because that’s what they accused the Air Force guy of doing, of confusing a weather balloon with a spaceship…

    I’m really thinking of going to the festival this summer, has ever anyone gone? Any tips? Anything from someone whose been there but not during a festival? Maybe a not-to-miss place (museum or restaurant)? Or an alien-theme hotel or maybe just a good but cheap hotel?

    Written By: Gary on January 21, 2007 No Comment

    Save the Cheerleader, save the world!Woo Hoo! Heroes is going to get a second season!

    They do try to do too many of the Six Degrees/Lost-type crossovers but otherwise as a weekly superhero/scifi show on mainstream TV it’s pretty close to the best show along those lines I’ve seen in a long time…Here’s an exclusive preview from the January 3rd episode of the Tonight show…

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2006 No Comment

    I’m not sure if this was a recent episode but I just saw this Wired post with screen captures and thought it was pretty funny!

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    Written By: Gary on November 30, 2006 35 Comments

    So I was watching television the other day and I knew the picture looked a little dim. I use a computer projector for my TV so I use the wall as my screen (it’s about 100 inches diagonally) and it’s great for movies and regular TV. So I checked the hours for the bulb and it was supposed to be good for another 350 hours but then it abruptly died that night.

    My intent when I bought the projector a few years ago was to keep it until it died and replace it with a much brighter one with more features once I used up the bulb (bulbs are about $300). Projectors drop significantly in price all the time. For example, the cheapest Epson projector 5 years ago was in the $2200 range and now a significantly brighter model (possibly with a higher resolution) is now $675-ish (those are education prices and I’d have to pay more). But I don’t want the comparable model, I want the deluxe model!

    So now I’ve got a dilemma, do I replace the bulb ($300) or buy the projector I want ($2000 that I wasn’t ready to spend) knowing the prices will keep dropping and features will keep growing?? The answer was the Black Friday ads, I saw multiple projectors for $400 (after rebate) and $500. I settled on the $500 Acer XD1150 DLP Digital Projector (from Staples), no rebate and it was available to ship. It looks like the one in the picture but the one in the picture is the next model up but still looks the same.


    So, for spending $500 for the projector instead of $300 for the bulb, I got a new smaller, lighter (under 5 pounds) in-warranty projector a brighter bulb (1800 lumens vs. 1100 lumens) and it’s smaller. It’s got inputs for composite video (regular video), s-video (like from your DVD player) and SVGA (which doubles as a component video port which supports 480p). It doesn’t have any audio inputs but I run it through the stereo so that’s okay. It came with a remote and a great carrying bad too.

    I like it a lot, even pulling it out of the box was nice. It was packaged excellent everything individually wrapped. It wasn’t the same experience of opening up an Apple product but it made me think of it. I came with a composite video cable, a 15 pin SVGA cable but no S-video cable. It came with a CD (which I haven’t looked at yet) and a 20 page manual. Actually it was a one page manual, the other 19 pages were the same page in 19 other languages. The zoom is limited but it got the picture where I needed it so I was okay with that. It’s also got a digital zoom which is great for watching non-HD shows on the HD channels. The focus was a bit touchy, I may need to look at another one later to see if it’s just mine or if they are all that way. All in all I’m very happy with my new TV!

    I did just notice there is a 45 page on-line manual in English. I’d guess that’s on the CD if I had put it in…

    Written By: Gary on October 17, 2006 3 Comments

    A new season and it’s still a great show! I’m getting used to the new theme song (actually same lyrics but a different band or mix).

    "Now maybe other people would say they’d never install a tracking device in their significant other’s car. But I think that’s just because they don’t know how."

    — Veronica Mars

    I just love Veronica Mars!

    Written By: Gary on October 9, 2006 No Comment

    The TV industry needs to catch up with reality and the Internet (the ‘net is real). They’ve tried a few things like elling shows on iTunes (for $1.99 an episode!) and other sites and free downloads at their websites (really it’s sitting at your computer and watching).

    Here’s the thing, people (not me) can download it faster and cheaper from the ‘net. Oh yeah, it’s higher quality and there isn’t any ads (but illegal). Over at MiniNova they list an approximation of downloaders (there are dozens of sites like this, some are private). Here’s some numbers (and info):

  • 15,000 people are grabbing last nights “Desperate Housewives”. And let’s be clear that’s this particular copy, there are probably dozen’s of others (some ultra high-def and some iPod versions).
  • 5,000 are grabbing “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” which for some reason showed up around dinnertime instead of after the 10 PM (EST) showing.
  • This isn’t counting the people who are going on and off line (“leechers” who take and disconnect without “seeding”). I’m not going to get into a technical discussion on this, but it’s not that hard to set up something to grab your shows automatically every night (and it’s getting easier every day).

    If they supplied these shows with ads they could control what the people are seeing, many people will fast forward but at least the ads are in it. Currently people are using BitTorrent technology and supplying the bandwidth for them. Heck, if the cable companies would provide a seed, it wouldn’t even use up much internet bandwidth (which would be a complaint they’d make), they could get a cut of the money or insert in their own ads!


    I’d rather pay for a higher quality version directly from the studio networks than have to download it illegally. Think about it, what people pay for cable, for channels. I personally would pay (for no ads of course) $15 a year directly to the SciFi channel for shows (I’d probably do the same for USA). That’s got to be way more than the cable company is giving them for me. Maybe a sliding scale makes more sense $5 for one show (for a season) $10 for 3?

    But let’s pretend they give it to me for free with ads. They make a dozen different versions of the show laced with ads. One for sports fans, one for geeks, one for teenagers, etc. I might actually watch the ads! Imagine that, ads targeted for me! Do you think they could charge more for that? A box like the TiVo should just be pulling these down and storing them and pushing them down to whatever device you want to watch them on.

    When this many people are stealing shows that are on broadcast network television there is something wrong with the way the system is set up. They (the networks) are totally missing the ball on this.

  • Written By: Gary on September 6, 2006 No Comment

    So there is a show on television right now exploring connections between people who were at Ground Zero during the disaster and are now showing signs of cancer. Why do terrible things just have to get more terrible…?

    It’s years later it’s time for things to get better. So speaking of years later, I have a questions (don’t peek ahead) for you to think about. What year did the towers fall on September 11th?


    The answer is 2001. Which may seem obvious (if you know it) but they just did a survey and a large number of people got the wrong answer. (I’ll look it up and post it later.)

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