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Archive for March, 2009

Fucking Apple, part 3

March 31st, 2009 No comments

Apple says no iPhone nano (or netbook). The rationale makes sense, too. But people are selling cases for this product. Unless it’s not for us, unless it’s for China (that link also has news about iPhone Video).

An Apple patent application talks about a flip iPhone, or a tablet Mac. Or, since that application is old, maybe Apple’s just tying up ideas. Still, I know people who would swoon over a MacTablet, then start setting up camp outside the nearest Apple Store once they woke up.

Or it’s all bullshit and Apple’s going to blow our minds yet again. Still I’d hold off iPhone purchases if I were you, at least until summer.

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Something funny

March 27th, 2009 No comments

I was gonna put up an angry post (not about Apple) but I decided to do this instead.

p.s. he is married. Wonder what the real Mrs. Ivey thought about this one.

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You may bow (or, Fucking Apple, part 2)

March 23rd, 2009 No comments

Here I accuse Apple of trying to trick 1st Gen iPhone owners into buying 2nd Gen iPhones in advance of releasing a new, even cooler 3rd Generation iPhone.

Here is news about code in the 3.0 OS that references as yet unreleased Apple products.

It’s going to have a video camera. “Referencing a historically reliable source.”

The only thing I wonder about now is timing. OS 3.0 is spoda come out in June, I’m thinking 3rd Gen iPhone in time for Christmas shopping season.

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What to eat, what to eat?

March 18th, 2009 No comments

Just how does one figure that question out? Especially a person of limited culinary skills. Even more especially a stupid bachelor like myself.

I’ve been eating a lot of this, and some of this. I tried this, which Numbertwo actually turned me onto, I cut the mayo in that recipe with some sour cream, if you try it.

My sloth is deffo problematic when it comes to cooking. I won’t chop, mince or dice. Which is okay because the veggie section of the frozen food aisle comes to my rescue. Herbs are more troublesome. My cuilnary patron saint, Alton Brown, says dried herbs are fail. Sorry, AB, gotta go against you on this one. Figuring out measurement conversions is kind of a pain, but when you showed me how to do a chiffonade (I think, I can’t even be arsed to look it up) my eye glazed over and my brain started humming very loudly. So I try to avoid anything with herbs in it.

Once upon a time I found a website with a recipe search engine with results sortable by number of ingredients. That rocked. Never been able to find it again. Makes me sad.

All of this is complicated by my attempts to counteract Yelp Gut without, y’know, drinking less. Which is why two of those recipes are from a dieting site. Reminds me, I need another food scale. Anyhoo.

So how do we decide what to eat?

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Yes, Boba Fett is kind of lame

March 17th, 2009 No comments

Best Week Ever’s Most Overrated Movie Sidekicks

1. Boba Fett, “Star Wars” saga

Libraries of fan fiction and expanded universe novels, priceless action figures, amazingly detailed homemade costumes featuring working grappling hooks and jet packs, and for what?? A dude who shows up for eight seconds in “Jedi” and is immediately and very easily killed.

Click for the other 9 and more Boba hate.

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Fucking Apple…

March 17th, 2009 No comments

Steve Jobs goes on “medical leave” and suddenly the iPhone gets MMS. Shocked? Not me. I’ve been hoping he retires to some of his weird manias subside. Like batteries the user has to pay someone to replace.

(Obvious rebuttal: Steve Jobs is a genius! You wouldn’t have had the iPhone if it wasn’t for him. Equally obvious response: Apple is a bunch of people, some of whom aren’t insane. Innovation will continue).

HOWEVER…

Some features, including MMS, won’t be available on the first-generation iPhones because the older hardware lacks support for them, said Apple during the presentation. In an accompanying statement, it also noted that “some features may not be supported by older hardware” but did not elaborate on which other iPhone 3.0 features will not be available on the original model.

Prediction 1: none of the really cool 3.0 features will work on 1st Gens.
Prediction 2: 3G (hence to be called 2nd Gen) iPhone sales will skyrocket as 1st Gen owners trade in to get stuff the iPhone OS should have had in the first fucking place.
Prediction 3: within months of this, the 3rd Gen iPhone will be announced.

Apple’s played this game before. iPods go on sale scant months before a new iPod is announced. I see what you did there!. I’ll buy a new fucking iPhone when I’m God damned good and ready to do so. Put that barrel away, you won’t be bending me over it.

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A whole new degree of pain.

March 17th, 2009 No comments

As I sit here, feeling my back tighten up (as an aside, did you know that over the counter analgesics can ease muscle pains? Good fact to remember.), I’m IMing with a friend about tonight’s krav class (it was good, thanks), about levels of expertise and whatnot and why I’m never fucking testing for advanced levels.

First, some background. As near as I can tell, krav maga levels work thusly (I may update this if/when I find my certificate):

Beginners take level 1 classes to prepare for the level 1 test. Level 1 is pretty basic; punches, kicks, blocks, defenses from headlocks and such. Not a lot of combos, not much ground fighting. After a minimum number of classes the instructor invites you to test when there’s judged to be enough confidence that you’re likely to pass. After you pass that test you are in level 1 and can take the intermediate class.

Intermediate classes cover everything from levels 2 to 4. If you’re curious, level 4 moves are fucking hard. For each level you prepare for the next test.

Expert is level 5. I have no idea what’s in there. Kinda don’t wanna know, some of the level 3 & 4 stuff is scary enough.

Tests are held every six months. They’re five hours long.

That bears repeating.

Tests are five hours long.

It starts with what’s called a cardio kickboxing class, because Tae Bo is trademarked, and sounds dumb anyway. This was a hell of a lot harder than I’d expected. In krav classes you go for a bit and it’s hard, then you stop so your partner can beat the shit out of you, then you stop for the instructor to cover the next move. No such nonsense in the cardio classes. It doesn’t take long for the instructor to tell you want to do next, then you go go go go go go go go. I shared my bag with two other people and I was still ready to be done after this. But that was the beginning. That’s an hour. You get a short break.

Then a regular class for the level. There are a few things that really don’t get covered much because they’re not that hard. Like freeing your arm from being grabbed. Pretty easy. These along with some of the harder things come up in the class. That’s an hour. Not too difficult, but you’re already tired from the cardio class and I frequently finish regular classes panting and soaked from sweat anyway. Then you need a short break.

I’m fairly sure if you sandbag the early portion of test night, you could easily be failed.

Then the test proper. You’re partnered with someone of similar size and strength. The instructor calls out moves, you do them. He watches. You get maybe two corrections. There’s a list and you go down it. Remember, you’ve done two hours of aerobics before you get to this point. And this is physical stuff. One move is grabbing your assailant, jamming your elbow into his chest so he can’t charge you, holding his arm by the bicep as hard as you can so he can’t punch you and throwing knees into his stomach. Your leg goes back as far as you can get it and when you throw the knee you pull the attacker down into the blow. This, you can imagine, is tiring. I don’t recall any breaks. We probably got one, but I don’t remember it.

I brought two Gatorades, a 100oz Camelback, a Rockstar and these little packets of a gel that has exactly 100 calories. And an extra shirt. I used it all. We went out for beers afterward, I had a beer, a hamburger and almost fell asleep at the table. I was still sore when the next week’s class came up. I skipped it. The test is two and a half hours, the breaks make up the other half hour. The breaks are not restful, they’re strictly to not get sued by survivors, so I count them in the test time.

The level 2 test is in two parts, 2A and 2B. Each of these is two days. When I was taking my level 1 test, there were people who had to come back the very next DAY for their level 2 test. So, then the level 3 tests are 3 days? Each?

Fuck.
That.
Noise.

Now, for the truly insane, there’s an instructor path. It’s not you get to a certain level you can teach, oh, no no no. I don’t know, don’t want to know, will never know exactly how that works, but I know you have to go to LA for it. I’ve been told, by a Clackamas County deputy who’s on their SWAT team (kind of a tough guy), that it’s multiple days and he goes straight back to his hotel room and ices up.

Oh, hellz noe! Not this kid. Huh-uh, no way, no how.

And there are also special classes for cops, which I’m told cover weapons retention and subduing people without, y’know, kicking them in the groin repeatedly or breaking limbs. Helpful stuff.

So, it’s not that I’m lazy, I mean, I am lazy but that’s not the reason I’m content to stay at level 2A. It’s because I’m a sensible human being, and this shit is fucking hard.

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What happened to the American dream? (or, why #Watchmen is terrible)

March 15th, 2009 No comments

Several people have asked me today: “If you didn’t like the comic, why did you watch the movie?” I didn’t have a good answer. If pressed I would have said I felt compelled, like it was a big geek moment and I had to participate. But on further reflection, many the things I didn’t like about the comic I knew wouldn’t be in the movie.

What I didn’t like about The Watchmen Comic.
1. the plot. That is, the villain’s nefarious scheme. It was lame. I can’t think of a better term. It was just a pathetic scheme, which is common in fictions that have villains with schemes, but this one was SO dumb and so low order of probability that it did nothing but roll me eyes. (I knew in advance that this had been changed. Except it wasn’t. One little detail was changed. Other than that it’s the exact fucking same as in the comic. Which I’ll get to).

2. The Black Freighter. WT*F*. Stupid, stupid, stupid. (I had already read that this would be relegated to DVD extras.)

3. The excessive backstory. Don’t get me wrong, I like a developed world, with developed characters with complex interactions. But The Watchmen pushed it. Maybe it made more sense as issues (I read a collection) but the flashbacks kept dragging me out of the story. I had to go back to catch up more than once. (I figured this would be trimmed, until I read geek reactions to the movie, to it’s “faithfulness”, I’ll cover that later).

4. Dr Manhattan. Hands down, least favorite thing.

What I liked about The Watchmen Comic
1. Rorschach. What. A. Bad. Ass. Even with the heavy handed reactionary outlook. Even tho he talks like he’s semi-retarded. I liked Batman before I read The Watchmen. Now I think he’s a rich pussy in tights.

2. No superheros. Masked heros, or masked adventurers, or masked vigilantes were fucking cool! They weren’t some alien, or mutant, just kick ass dudes (and chicks) out to bust some bad guys up. Except for Dr. Manhattan, who in seeming contrast had every fucking superpower.

But even with all that, the comic was good. I didn’t like it, but it was a well executed story and piece of fiction.

The movie, however, is absolute shit and I can’t imagine how anyone could enjoy it. First, the positive.

What didn’t completely suck about The Watchmen Movie.
1. Fight scenes. They were slightly Matrix-y but it’s almost too much to hope for that they wouldn’t have been. Fight scenes would be so much more impressive at full speed. That, more than somewhat exaggerated strength, would have illustrated just how good “masks” are.

2. Um. Malin Anderson is way hot. So was the chick who played Dr Manhattan’s first girlfriend.

What sucked.
1. Comic book dialogue simply can not be spoken aloud. EVER. While The Watchmen wasn’t as bad as Sin City in this regard, some of the lines made me want to cry. The title of this post was spoken aloud. By a protagonist. As a reaction to a riot. What the fuck? What the FUCK? This defies credibility. Which leads to….

2. “Faithfulness”. Read: slavishness. It’s called “adaptation” for a reason, Zack fucking Snyder. You have to adapt the story from one medium to another. I’ve mentioned the dialogue, but here I’m talking about the God damned backstory. The hateful, unwieldy, uninteresting backstory. I couldn’t imagine that the directory would bloat his movie with this nonsense that most of the audience wouldn’t know or care about. All you need to know is that masked heros are outlaws, and there was a group of them called The Watchmen (although they weren’t in the comic). That’s it. Viewers don’t need to know about Dollar Bill or the previous incarnations of Silk Spectre & Nite Owl, or Vietnam, or what the fuck ever. Well, I guess the genesis of Dr Manhattan is important.

For an elegant, artistic adaptation, witness LA Confidential. The novel covers decades. Literally. The movie covers maybe a month, and there’s a big gap in the middle of that. In the novel the Nite Owl (ha ha, I just realized that commonality, whatever) is a by-blow. One little detail in the midst of the story. The characters are streamlined to (get this, Zack), what can be conveyed efficiently in a movie.

I know Snyder can adapt, because he did it in the movie. When Rorschach gets his mask back. That was elegant and artful. Unlike the rest of this terrible movie. Especially the two major Ozymandias scenes, before the end. The intro interview and the assassination attempt are ham handed, terrible, half assed suck. Just plain bad writing. This should be used in film schools and screenwriting classes as textbook examples against.

This whole movie is a bad exercise in slavish devotion. Oh, except for the digs at the oil industry. Yawn.

I hope this movie win Razzies for both of the Dan/Laurie sex scenes in this movie. Holy shit those were terrible. Both of them have lame orgasm jokes.

It’s hard to deliver this line straight, but Zack Snyder should be ashamed of himself.

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Carryall

March 12th, 2009 1 comment

When I was a kid my Dad had a Suburban, he had several of them, actually, all before anyone had heard of an SUV. This was also before the tyranny of seat belt laws.

We’d occasionally go to his sister, my aunt’s house for some family bullshit. It was okay but I really remember the drives home. It was always night and dark on I-205 (Aunt Do and Uncle Ralph lived in Oregon City and we in Lents) and I would lay in one of those big ass bench seats in the back and hope we’d never run into streetlights. That it would be dark in the back of dad’s carryall forever. That we’d never get home, to bed and school and bullshit.

I find that when I’m on a bus I close my eyes and lean against the window or whatever. Hoping I can feel that again. That in between with no demands or expectations. Comfortable and secure, knowing someone’s driving you somewhere.

But the lights always come on, and I have to get off. Just like the carryall always pulled into the driveway. And I had to go into the house. To bed and then to school.

Maybe I just want to live my life in that between.

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How to feel like crap

March 8th, 2009 No comments

Drink many PBRs. Your large dinner prevents those from having their way with you to an unpleasant extent, but backfires when you miss the last bus home and have to walk 2ish miles with beer and half-assed shepherd’s pie churning in your gut.

In the morning, dismiss your sore throat as caused by drunken snoring. Sleep until 2pm, because of party fatigue and general sloth, not anything viral. Oh, heavens no.

Eat ice cream for breakfast. Will mask anything.

Mistake body aches for hunger.

Accept an invitation to dinner from a friend talented in the kitchen. Use the powers of denial (and beer) on your mounting sense of unwellness so as to not miss the food.

Draft him into delivering you to a simple chore, then continue the evening’s plans because it would be a dick move to bail at that point.

Finally go home about when you would have normally. Take over the counter cold/flu meds. Go ahead, it’s too late, now.

Wake up feeling like an illness fairy is in your skull, pushing your eye sockets outward like Samson’s last burst of strength. Be glad you were never outwardly a jackass to people with chronic sinusitis.

I present this as a cautionary tale, a lesson in what not to do. Except for the ice cream for breakfast part. That was bomb.

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