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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FrankTV Is Getting Abused By TBS

So, ton of ads for FrankTV a few months ago. Cool, looks like a decent show. As time goes by, Frank Caliendo seems funnier and funnier. After all, he used to be on MadTV, and seemed to be a standout. His impressions are hilarious, especially of George Bush.

Then the Writers Strike happens. FrankTV disappears! Where did it go? Hey, lookie here, on TBS there’s a Frank Caliendo stand up comedy special! Whoo! Hey, I’ve seen this… I’ve heard these jokes before… Well, at least he’s still funny. Hmm… Could TBS be airing this in an effort to appease all us Frank fans? They said, “Watch the show!” Now there’s no writing for the show! So, “Here, watch this old stuff, it’s almost as good.”

Last night, channel surfing, I saw the final moments of a FrankTV episode. I couldn’t believe it. Finally! The show that’s barely on, and I’ve heard nothing about when to watch. Apparently they’re will be an hour next Tuesday. And in HD. Then who knows what?

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Varying Terminator Models

Terminator 1: I believe Kyle Reese referred to the Terminator as a T-101. When it was blown up, it looked like a metal skeleton.

There was also a terminator that Kyle Reese "flashed forward" to, one that carried that huge laser gun in the bowels of the human refugee camp.

Terminator 2: T-800 (learning Terminator, metal skeleton when blown up) and T-1000 (liquid metal)

Terminator 3: T-850 (upgraded T-800), Terminatrix (liquid metal outside, advanced endoskeleton with hidden weapons on inside)

Sarah Connor Chronicles: Bad Guy - unknown model, maybe pre T-800. Needs to hold a human throat in order to imitate that human's voice, whereas a T-800 could do that from memory. Also, this terminator without skin looks like a T-800, plus metal armor. Is that an advancement or an obsolete design?

Good Girl - unknown model, maybe post Terminatrix? Can imitate voices from memory. It's possible she comes from a further advanced future than the Bad Guy.

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Need To Buy Glasses?

Today I visited ZenniOptical.com. It's a site specializing in the sale of prescription glasses. It looks like they've got a huge selection. One of their products I'd never seen before. It's a set of glasses that has corrective lenses behind darkened outer lenses, the kind you'd find in a pair of sunglasses. So if you needed reading glasses, and liked reading outside, you'd slap on a pair of these and be good to go!

Let's see, I didn't know there were so many types of lenses to choose from! ZenniOptical has photochromic or "sun sensor" lenses (the ones that darken in sunlight), plus tinted, bifocal, progressive, and single vision lenses too. And tons of frames. Plenty to choose from.

You know those commercials where all these people are so pleased about being able to get prescription meds starting from $4 at Wal-Mart? Well this site is kind of like that. It offers prescription glasses at low, low prices. Their slogan is something like Zenni Optical: Sell Rx Glasses $8 with case!

How can they justify such prices? It's easy. They make the frames themselves, and don't involve middlemen. So when you buy from them, you're buying direct. That way, there's no store owner raising prices to justify carrying the merchandise. What's more, ZenniOptical apparently has a super-slim ad budget. So they don't have to make up for a million-dollar Super Bowl ad by charging you $800 for a pair of shades!

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Old South Park DVD Has Live Action Clips With Trey Parker and Matt Stone

When "South Park" first came out, I didn't pay very much attention. At one point, just when I was starting to discover how entertaining it was, I saw a live action clip on TV with the "South Park" creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I think they were in a jacuzzi sipping champagne, and I remember one said that basically they had sold out as soon as possible. I was blown away by their appearance and attitude, and at the time wasn't familiar with their, "I'm going to make fun of this idiocy by portraying it myself" style. I took them at face value and assumed they were being serious. So a few years went by and I didn't really care for "South Park" all that much. Eventually I saw "BASEketball," a live action movie by Trey and Matt, and I thought it was pretty funny, but gross in some parts. Later, "Team America: World Police" came out, and that was a huge hit. I enjoyed it, and found it highly relevant.

Then on October 4, 2006, South Park came out with a new episode, "Make Love, Not Warcraft," and I was floored. I thought it was phenomenal. It was at that point that I became a major fan. Since then, I don't think many of the episodes have lived up to "Warcraft," but they've still been pretty great.

This is why recently I got an old South Park DVD. It's "South Park: Volume Two," featuring the episodes, "An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig," "Death," "Pinkeye," and "Damien." I had seen two of those episodes before on TV, and I liked the overall Halloween feel. I didn't expect the bonuses of live-action commentary by Trey and Matt that preceded each episode. In the context of all their previous work, these old clips are pretty funny. But when they first came out, if I had seen them then, I probably wouldn't have understood them at all. They basically answer some questions about the show (like how the "Elephant" episode was originally meant to contain profanity in the title) while spoofing fireside chats and "Mickey Mouse Club"-esque shows. They even had a Native American dressed in old garb, and his only line was, "Someone's coming," which he said more than once. That was his thing. I get that they're spoofing having a stereotypical "Indian" just for the effect. It was neat seeing these guys earlier in their careers. I also like the story (not on this DVD, but out there in the ether, probably on Wikipedia) of how Comedy Central wasn't too sure about the show, until the ratings exploded.

After the 4 episodes on the DVD, there is also a section of advertising that is pure Comedy Central propaganda. But it's really old! I thought it was funny, because pretty much all the shows they mentioned are canceled now, except for "South Park" and "The Daily Show." We all know "The Daily Show" as being "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." But in the ad, they didn't mention his name even once! They showed some of the cast doing interviews and funny stuff, and there was even a flash of Stephen Colbert. Then, at the end, they had a very, very blurry picture of some guy sitting at the main desk of the show, and I thought, "That has to be Jon!" I guess he must have been new at the time, or Comedy Central didn't realize how appealing he would become.

Then, I think it was at the very end, after maybe 10 minutes of Comedy Central commercials (on a DVD! At least I wasn't forced to watch them...) they had some stuff about how Comedy Central is the only place to see South Park. It was funny; it seemed almost threatening, like the kind of commercial Bill Murray would have liked as his TV executive character in "Scrooged." It was like Comedy Central wanted all "South Park" fans to be terrified of missing the show to the point where they'd never forget to keep Comedy Central in mind.

Just as a side note, I noticed one comedian (he does those Mountain Dew commercials, the younger guy who's clean-shaven, and he's also on I love the '80's) playing a foreign character literally judging "fake" dog crap. I also saw Amy Poehler on the "Upright Citizen's Brigade!" She moved on to SNL. It's funny to see all this old stuff with such clarity, in the context of -- the future!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Episodes Of Chuck!

I can't believe it. In just a few minutes, a new "Chuck" episode will be coming out! And then another! How cool is that?

Just when you think the Writers Strike will prevent all you favorite shows from coming back, another one of them finds a way. I still wonder how "Terminator" and "Kyle XY" can be doing it. I guess they got a bunch of scripts ready and out of the way ahead of time.

I wonder if there's a television show production company that always operates on the contingency of having at least an extra season of scripts available, just in case all the writers take a break...?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 23 January 2008

This is a personal blog written and edited by me.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Writers Strike Produces Golden Age Of Reruns

I've noticed a trend lately on TV, wherein a lot of quality episodes are being replayed from shows' earlier seasons. "Who Shot Mr. Burns," early episodes of "Family Guy" and "Futurama"... All right, I admit those shows might be considered juvenile. But I find them entertaining. And what's more, seeing early episodes is a treat, at least for me. Here's why.

When "Futurama" first came out, I didn't watch it much. When "Family Guy" made its debut, it seemed a little intense for me. Now I'm a fan of both shows, and watching the early episodes I've never seen is just like watching new ones!

So the bottom line is that the Writers Strike will allow all of us to catch up on old missed episodes of our favorite programs.

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Need A Hotel Reservation?

A lot of times people will type a search query right into a web browser's address bar. So if you're looking for "Hotel Reservations," you might just type in HotelReservations.com. And what do we get? Perfect, it's a site all about making reservations worldwide!

Let's see here, this site has all kinds of offerings. Not only can you reserve hotel and motel space, you can also plan ahead with cars, flights, and resorts. They offer vacation packages, too.

Wow, it says they've got 70 thousand properties worldwide: hotels, condos, resorts, and even bed and breakfasts. They are so sure their rates are competitive that if you can find a lower rate somewhere else for a booking you've already made with them, they will either match the lower rate, or cancel your reservation with no termination fee. That way, you'll be free to take the better deal! So whatever great discounts you can find worldwide, HotelReservations.com aims to match or exceed them.

And here's a bonus: You get a special group rate if reserving more than 9 rooms per day!

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Roof Jumper Monday

Last night I watched "Kyle XY." Then I watched "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Guess what happened in both episodes? Roof jumping!

On "Kyle XY," Jessie managed to get herself caught on camera while jumping from the top of a building that was maybe 8 stories high? Maybe taller. Pretty high. Anyway, she landed, dusted herself off, and just walked away. As soon as the video hit the local net, her school went nuts, and she became a celebrity, the "Mystery Jumper."

Then, on "Terminator," a girl who apparently had an affair with the Guidance Counselor jumped to her death after being tormented by paintings slowly revealing her devastating secret to her classmates. Robo-chick stopped John Connor from helping out, probably to prevent him from getting famous through heroics and becoming an overt target again.

It seemed odd that both shows, which aired back-to-back (though on separate networks) would have a similar intense plot element. This has happened before, though, but it (as usual) seems unintentional. Maybe some sort of synchronicity?

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I Joined PayPerPost

Usually when someone mentions "making money online," the conversation takes a turn toward, "wouldn't that be great, but it's just a pipe dream." Well, some people have actually found a legitimate way to earn income on the web. Doing what? Writing paid blog posts. Blogging is old enough now that it is being taken seriously as a new form of media, of publication. Every blogger is like a separate newspaper editor. Physical newspapers get paid to print certain information, so why not bloggers?

A little while back I read somewhere online that a company called payperpost had gone to the trouble of creating a marketplace specifically catering to bloggers and those wanting bloggers to get the word out about a product, service, or web site. I thought, "Hey, I've got a blog, I wonder if I can sign up and make some money?" Sure enough, it can be done. There are requirements each blog has to meet, but once you cross those hurdles, you can get paid $20 for writing a post just like this one.

That's right. I'm getting paid $20. To do what? To write! And I don't even need a pen! Is this world crazy or what? But seriously folks, that's one of the things I love best about PayPerPost. They help you find opportunities where you can easily monetize something that's just lying idle - your blog.

So far, one important lesson I've learned is that when PayPerPost asks you to "resubmit your blog," all you need to do is log in to your account, make some changes to the information regarding your blog, and click the "Update" button. The "Update" button does what you might expect a "Resubmit" button to do.

One thing I thought I'd mention is how I'm going to spend the $20. I saw on the "Colbert Report" last night that even though nobody knows if we're in a recession, spending in a confident way will help to prevent a full-blown economic downturn. So I'm going to build my own Economic Stimulus Package, which may end up primarily consisting of pizza. Thanks, PayPerPost!

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blogger Comment Spam

Usually when I go to write a post here, I check to see if any comments have been added to my recent posts. Recently I began noticing a few from someone named "SEO Link Master." These pure spam comments showed up all over the place, randomly. Deleted!

At first I thought, "Oh, gee, a comment, let's see what's up. Hmm, maybe they liked what I wrote." Then it turns out some robo-jerk is spewing crap on my blog! How dare he...

WordPress has its own spam blocking technology. I wonder if Blogger has something like that in the works...?

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 5 Terminator Timelines

Terminator 1:

Orig Timeline: John Connor is born, father unknown. SkyNet is engineered through normal technological development. Judgement Day occurs on August 29, 1997. No time travel happens until after SkyNet's Defense Grid is smashed. At that point, Kyle Reese and the Terminator go back to 1984.

Terminator 1, 2, and 3:

Timeline 2: Kyle Reese fathers John Connor. At age 10, JC meets Kate Brewster, and the two develop a lasting relationship. JC grows up and knowingly sends Reese back to 1984. Reverse-engineered Terminator technology speeds humanity toward Judgement Day.

Timeline 3: When John is 10, the T-800 and T-1000 come back through time to battle, preventing JC and KB from meeting until later. The Terminator technology is destroyed, and Judgement Day is postponed to 2003. In the future, John Connor is killed by a T-800, which is reprogrammed by KB and sent back to protect John in his early adulthood from the Terminatrix, which has also been sent back.

Terminator 3 and the Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Timeline 4: After Sarah Connor dies from leukemia, JC is living off the grid. The Terminatrix and a T-800 show up to do battle. JC finally meets up with KB, and they hunker down during Judgement Day, 2003. In 2005, JC dies somehow. In the future, a non-Arnold T-800 (?) (or earlier model, since it needs to hold someone's throat in order to sound like them, and Arnold didn't) is sent back to 1999, when JC is age 15. Another cyborg (or genetically engineered super human), female, is also sent back to some point previous to 1999 to protect JC. An engineer is sent back to 1963. Various Resistance Fighters are also sent back to some point around 2008 or prior.

Timeline 5: In 1963, the engineer for the Resistance outfits a bank with a plasma rifle and time travel equipment, all made in the 60's using 60's materials and his knowledge of future tech. During or prior to 1999, a female Resistance cyborg arrives and begins her mission. Resistance Fighters arrive in or prior to 2008, and take various preparatory actions. The collective activities of the members of the Resistance likely have a hand in further postponing Judgement Day from 2003 to some point after the start of 2008. In 1999, JC and SC meet the female cyborg (?), who protects them from the non-Arnold T-800 (?). To avert John Connor's death in 2005, the three use the bank's time travel equipment to jump ahead to 2008, just before Judgement Day. The non-Arnold cyborg's body lies dormant in a scrap yard for 8 or 9 years, while its head jumps ahead to 2008. There, it reestablishes wireless connectivity with its body, and proceeds to physically reconnect the two components and resume its mission to eliminate John Connor. Meanwhile, Sarah Connor goes to the doctor, hoping to minimize or eliminate her foretold difficulties with cancer.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tot. Awesome: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

The Sarah Connor Chronicles is my new favorite show. I agree with someone on IMDB who said it's better than T3. It so is.

T1 was great. It set the story up, and was mysterious at the same time.

T2 was phenomenal. It moved the story forward, and did so brilliantly. John Connor was a hero.

T3 was somewhat disappointing. JC became weak, doubtful, and the Terminator was given a "soft side." Lame.

"The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (SCC) forgets T3 (in more ways than one) and returns to the glory of T2. JC and SC are tough. The music is similar to T2. The cyborgs are more machine-like, and less sensitive. Just what the doctor ordered!

One cool note: JC was born in 1984. In T3, he was in his early 20's, and lame. In SCC, they show JC in 1999, at age 15. Then he time travels to our present. SC can now get cured of her cancer, and JC doesn't have to devolve into the wimp we saw in T3. Even when he was scarred in the T3 future, already a "winner," he still looked like he didn't believe in himself. Edward Furlong had the right idea. And so do the "Chronicles!"

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Time Travel In "Back To The Future"

Marty's life isn't so great. Marty goes back in time. Marty returns to an alternate present, where things are much better.

What I sometimes wonder about when watching movies like "Back To The Future" or "Timecop" is whether or not the people connected to the hero ever notice a change in his behavior. In both films, the lead guy returns to an alternate present and lives happily ever after. However, from the perspective of the secondary characters, they are now living with a different version of the guy they have always known.

So in "Back To The Future," Jennifer's probably the same, but Marty's different. He is now different from the guy she grew up with, the son of an aspiring author, who lived in a nice house and had nice things handed to him. That Marty's attitude must be different from that of the Marty we all know and love.

So today I came up with a theory about what happened to the other Marty. I eventually shot it down myself, but allow me to explain.

At the end of the movie, Marty1 returns home. This Marty had been gallivanting about in the past, making changes to cure his parents of their loserdom. So he's back, and he watches another Marty go back in time. What's the other Marty like? Marty2 is the spoiled Marty, who may or may not be a jerk. For the sake of this theory, we'll call him a jerk.

Now comes a tie-in with another theory that's been around a while, and with which you may already be familiar. Marty2 takes some Plutonium with him. Goes to 1955. Immediately he fuels up and returns, making no other changes. So where does he return to?

This is where my bogus theory gets interesting. Marty2 winds up in the original 1985, where his parents are losers, his house is a shack, and the Doc has been killed by terrorists. So Marty1 gets to live in Marty2's world, and Marty2 gets to live in Marty1's world. They swapped places! If this were to be made into a film, the justification for Marty2 being sentenced to a Hell version of his present would be that he was a jerk (a victim of Spoiled Brat Syndrome).

But I realize that this is not the case. When Marty1 returns to Alternate (and Better) 1985 to see Marty2 leave, he can rest easy knowing there will be no Marty3. It's a loop! Marty1 used to live in a straight line of time, but then he creates a loop, goes through it, and makes it so that Marty2 will go through it in exactly the same way, creating no further universes.

Here's more on that. Marty's original existence goes along in a straight line, left to right. Then at one point, he teleports to a point before he was born. In 1985 he's 17, so he was probably born in 1968. He travels to 1955, so that's 13 years before birth. Then he returns to a little bit before he leaves. In order to prevent having two Marty's permanently, one of them has to leave, and do as the other did. So the younger one who hasn't had a turn in the DeLorean goes back in time just like the older one did, and for whatever reason gets into the same situations and produces the same results. Then he returns to 1985 and sees his younger self leave, who returns to watch his younger self leave, and so on...

But this raises the question of why did Marty2 (who time travels to 1955 at the end of the film) make all the same changes? Did Doc coach him as to how to act, what to do, what kinds of trouble to cause, and how to undo all that? Or did it arise out of chance? My bet is that the universe evened itself out without Doc's interference. If Doc had coached Marty2 to do certain things in 1955, then Marty2 would return to his 1985 saying things like, "It worked," "I ensured the present," and "Doc, I don't know how we pulled it off!", and subsequently lead a different life than Marty1 did in BTTF 2 and 3.

But if you put all this aside, there's still the issue of behavioral changes. If you were Jennifer, and your boyfriend had access to a time machine, there was no guarantee he'd always be the same guy. You might be living in an alternate timeline that he's about to return to, from a point in the past at which he engineered it! But don't worry, he probably won't be that different. Just more appreciative of his family, his new truck, and most of all, you!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Garth Marenghi Rocks My Socks

A while ago I saw the final episode of "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace." Hilarious. A few days ago I watched the pilot. Outstanding. Brilliant!

I love how they've got all the "bad acting" down to a science. One guy gets upset and starts yelling and moving around. Then, as soon as he's said his lines, he resumes his original posture and completely drops the emotions he had. A moment goes by, and finally another guy says, "All right, calm down, calm down." That was great. And then later, one guy says, "Understand?" And another responds, "As crystal." It took a moment to dawn on me that the gag is very likely that "understand" was not the correct line, which should have made use of the word, "clear." (i.e., "Have I made myself clear?" "As crystal.") So one guy screws up his line, and the other guy refuses to deviate from the script, even in the presence of a verbal mismatch.

One of the most hilarious moments I found came after a guy who had unlocked the gates of Hell exploded. His head was still functioning, and he asked his friend Doctor Rick Dagless, M.D. (Garth) to put an end to the pain and kill him. He's in his hospital room, and so the Doc walks over and picks up -- a shovel! Why would that be there?! That's gotta be a gag. Then Dagless looks at his friend's head, and they both start screaming louder and louder, until that sound fades out, beautiful dramatic piano music takes over, and Dagless hits the head like a huge golf ball. It was so outrageous that it impressed me as one of that episode's funniest parts. I also liked the graveyard scene. Action-packed!

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Monday, January 7, 2008

The Simpsons Told Me Who To Vote For

Ralph Wiggum!

It's funny, I wonder if the episode was meant to air last Sunday. I do believe NH has their Primary this Tuesday. Tomorrow. And yet yesterday the Simpsons kept referring to it as "next Tuesday." Even if using "next" before a day of a week with less than 7 days to go is appropriate, it's an extra word. They could have just said, "Tuesday." Hmm...

I don't think I'll vote for Wiggum, though. That might have been appropriate 4 years ago, but not today. We need the best person we can get, and we finally have an incredible pool of political talent to choose among. It's great. I genuinely feel that any of the major candidates could do a good job.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

DVR Of The Future

I've mentioned previously how I've been lucky enough to have DVR at home. It's pretty great, but one limitation I think will be eliminated as time goes on is how much you can keep recorded. I think my box has a limit between 20 and 30 hours.

I think I've heard there are ones out there that can keep 800 hours.

So here's my theory: In the future, DVR will be so powerful that you won't need a VCR or DVD player. The hard drive in your DVR will be able to contain every movie ever made. There will be a slot or access port where you can connect a handheld device or memory stick/card, and download movies. Then you can upload them to another box, or your PC, or just keep them on your iPod Inviso.

All DVRs will connect to one of a few major networks that store the data for every movie ever made. As soon as the new movies leave theaters, they'll become available for legal download to your DVR box.

I think the next level of development after that would be to make everything wireless, with such an absurdly high range for access that you could literally connect your iPod to your DVR from the other side of the world, and do so wirelessly.

After that, we'd just need to focus on getting the networks working on Mars.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

YouTube Sounds Better Than It Looks

I went searching for a song on the internet today, and to my surprise and delight it was on YouTube. The video I found was the original music video for the song. It became apparent that while the visual quality was good, the audio was very good.

I wonder why that is.

YouTube is obviously a good place to listen to songs you can't find anywhere else. Sometimes the visual portion isn't even from a music video, but rather an album cover. I guess sound can be more important than visuals...

Or maybe since digital music preceded videos on the net, the technology is better at sound?

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